Patreon introduced Lens, a new feature in the Patreon mobile app that creators can use to “bring patrons behind the scenes”. The purpose is to easily enable creators to share exclusive, behind-the-scenes content with their patrons.
Every creator has a behind the scenes. Behind each song, novel, video, comic, or painting lies a magical and creative journey. Patrons love to see this process – the unpolished work, the messy studios, the spur-of-the-moment inspiration. While creators regularly share this journey on Patreon, we wanted to make it easier than ever to do it on the go.
The Lens feature is only accessible via the Patreon mobile app – not on the website. It was intended to be used quickly and easily so you can show a work in progress without disrupting your creative flow. Use Lens to capture photos and videos to share with your patrons. Photos and videos are displayed in a series so creators can show progress.
The interesting thing about Lens is that all content disappears after 24 hours. Patreon says this allows creators to “deliver authentic unedited content without worrying about taking the perfect shot.” I can see where this kind of content – that can only be viewed within a set time limit – would be attractive to patrons.
Podcasters could potentially post photos of their microphone, mixer, and/or studio. Or, they could record a short video of themselves talking while recording an episode. If you edit your own podcast, you could make a Lens photo or video of the waves in your recording software.
Your patrons who have the Patreon mobile app will receive notifications of the new content and can view your Lens anytime by clicking on the circular image at the top of your page in the Patreon app. Patreon points out that not all of your patrons will use the Patron mobile app, and suggests that you make a post to let your patrons know about your plans to use Lens.
Last week, Patreon announced that it would be applying a new service fee to patron’s individual pledges. Today, after receiving plenty of feedback from creators and patrons who strongly disliked the fee change, Patreon apologized and decided not to roll out its fee change.
CEO and cofounder of Patreon, Jack Conte, wrote a post titled “We messed up. We’re sorry, and we’re not rolling out the fees change.” If you are on Patreon, you probably received this post in your email.
We’ve heard you loud and clear. We’re not going to rollout the changes to our payments system that we announced last week. We still have to fix the problems that those changes addressed, but we’re going to fix them in a different way, and we’re going to work with you to come up with the specifics, as we should have done the first time around. Many of you lost patrons, and you lost income. No apology will make up for that, but nevertheless, I’m sorry. It is our core belief that you should own the relationship with your fans. These are your businesses, and they are your fans.
Jack Conte pointed out that “Your feedback has been crystal clear.”
- The new payments system disproportionately impacted $1 – $2 patrons. We have to build a better system for them.
- Aggregation is highly-valued, and we understand that.
- Fundamentally, creators should own the business decisions with their fans, not Patreon. We overstepped our bounds and injected ourselves into that relationship, against our core belief as a business.
Jack Conte also acknowledged that it will take a long time to earn back the trust of creators and patrons. He states that Patreon is “utterly devoted to your success and to getting you sustainable, reliable income for being a creator.” It remains to be seen whether or not this apology will bring back the creators and patrons who left Patreon specifically because of the fee change.
Patreon announced that they will be applying a new service fee to patron’s individual pledges. The fee will be automatically added. This change will have an effect on patrons and creators.
A new service fee of 2.9% + $0.35 will be paid by patrons for each individual pledge starting on December 18, 2017. Once this change takes effect, the service fee will be applied to all pending retries and existing pledges. Patrons will see their first payment with the fee included on January 1, 2018.
Patreon put together an FAQ that gives more details. In it, it says that patrons who no longer wish to continue their membership with the updated service fee can cancel their pledge before December 31, 2017. Patrons who are pledging to a per-creation creator, who makes a post between December 18th and December 31st will see a service fee added to those posts.
There are two purposes of the new service fee. One is to help keep Patreon going. In the FAQ, Patreon says some of the service fee will go to Patreon’s employee’s salaries, and to pay for office space and to keep their lights on and servers running.
The other purpose is to give creators a higher percentage of the income that comes from pledges. The service fee allows creators to take home exactly 95% of every pledge with no additional fees. Creators will no longer see fluctuations in their Patreon derived income due to varying processing fees.
Patreon has provided a helpful statement that creators can use to explain the new service fees to their patrons. That might be useful to podcasters who have a Patreon for their podcast. Creators are not allowed to “take the hit” for their patrons and pay the new service fee themselves. Patrons are going to have to pay this new service fee, no matter if they are using a credit card or Paypal for their memberships.
Patreon has launched an App Directory. The App Directory makes it easy for creators to connect tools that help them grown their membership businesses and to energize patrons.
The App Directory is the go-to resource for discovering integrations that you can connect with your Patreon page.
Patreon is used by many creators, including podcasters. Patreon pointed out a few examples of how to use the App Directory. The Sanspants Radio podcast is using Patreon’s WordPress plugin to give their fans the benefits of paid membership. Fans can choose from various Patreon-powered membership tiers to receive access to patron-only content. The plugin can also provide patrons with an ad-free experience.
Patreon users can use Zapier to automatically add new patrons to their email list service. Zapier also helps you automatically segment your email list into various patron pledge levers, which makes it easier to send patrons their special rewards. Podcasters who are on Patreon can use the Sonix app (which is in the App Directory) to upload their audio or video files to Sonix and have them automatically transcribed and timestamped.
Patreon announced that it has raised $60M in new funding. CEO of Patreon, Jack Conte stated on Medium that Patreon will use that funding to scale their team, to build faster, and to build more. In other words, the money be used to help Patron’s product evolve.
Many podcasters use Patreon as a way to raise money so they can continue to podcast. It costs money to keep your website hosting going. Patreon is also a good way to deliver special content to your superfans.
TechCrunch reported that Patreon raised $60 million led by Chris Paik at Thrive Capital, which also led Patreon’s Series B funding. According to TechCrunch:
The new capital will go towards hiring to expand its 80 person team and scaling up growth by recruiting more creators including videographers, political pundits, game developers, illustrators, musicians, and comedians.
Here’s what Jack Conte says you can expect as a creator on Patreon:
- Analytics for understanding your patrons, your rewards, and your income
- Dashboards that summarize the performance of your membership business and give you clear and helpful suggestions
- Rock solid and simple financials
- Rewards management, automation, and delivery
- Patron management (Who are my patrons? What are their Twitter handles? How much have they spent on me?)
In addition, there will be changes that will give creators everything they need to entice and keep their patrons. The idea is to make offering and fulfilling rewards or benefits to be seamless. In the Medium post, it says “We segment rewards into three main categories.” Those categories are:
- Creator-patron intimacy, like live interactions and patron-only polls
- Ongoing exclusivity, like access to a patron-only Discord server or early-access to content
- Actual goods, whether digital or physical, like a signed poster or an extra episode
Crowdfunding platform Patreon has become a prominent monetization source for many podcasters. By default, Patreon charges backers once per month, and after it takes fees off the top of those charges, it passes payments on to Patreon creators. In response to Patreon users who’ve asked the service to make payments go thru faster, Patreon has added a new Charge Up Front option.
Charge Up Front will only be available to Patreon creators who use the service to collect monthly contributions from their backers. Creators who operate their accounts on a charge-per-creation basis (example: podcasters who only collect from backers when they release a new episode) are not eligible to use Charge Up Front. Current Patreon users who opt to switch to the Charge Up Front option will not be able to switch back to the standard monthly collection system already in use by most Patreon creators. Also, per-creation creators who switch to a monthly-donation plan in order to take advantage of Charge Up Front will not be able to change back to the per-creation option:
Charge up front is permanent and cannot be changed; once you elect to charge your patrons up front, you cannot undo this. If you switch to charge up front from a per creation account type, you will not be able to switch back to charging your patrons per creation.
Another thing to keep in mind about the new Charge Up Front service:
For security purposes, payouts from your account will be placed on a temporary hold for five days after opting into “charge up front.” This feature is gradually being rolled out and is not available for all creators yet. You’ll receive an email notification once it’s available for your page.
If you’re a Patreon user and you’d like to begin using Charge Up Front, follow the link at the top of this article to learn more about the feature and how you can enable it.
Patreon provides a simple way for podcasters to monetize their podcasts. Podomatic helps podcasters reach an audience with free podcasts, customizable embedded players, and promotional tools. The two companies have partnered – and the outcome could benefit podcasters.
Patreon is integrating with Podomatic so that podcasters can easily monetize their business and build a closer network with their fans. If you want to make use of this integration you need to have a Patreon for your podcast and have your podcast on Podomatic.
After that, all you need to do is put a Patreon button on your Podomatic profile that links directly to your Patreon page. You can do this by clicking on the “funding” tab in your Podomatic settings and adding the link to your Patreon page.
The purpose of this integration is to make it easy for your followers on Podomatic to see how they can contribute more to your work. A listener who is already looking at your podcast’s page on Podomatic can click a button and go right to you Patreon. That’s quicker and easier than if they had to go searching for your Patreon themselves.
It should be noted that podcasters can use Patreon without using Podomatic, and can use Podomatic without using Patreon. The partnership between the two companies could be beneficial for podcasters who are already using both services, or who are using one and were considering using the other as well.
Patreon has become a popular crowdfunding platform for podcasters. And the people behind the service have taken notice. Patreon launched a new feature this week that could’ve only been inspired by the needs of podcasters; Private RSS feeds.
Offering premium content behind a paywall is a monetization strategy used by many podcasters. But the solutions for doing that can be complex and unreliable. Usually, podcasters just upload a cache of files to a server behind a password-protected paywall. Or they’d try and create their own premium content system using various combinations of WordPress plugins and third-party providers.
Patreon’s new offering should make the process of providing premium podcast content much easier. When Patreon creators upload media files to their account, those files will automatically go into a generator on Patreon’s backend that creates unique, private RSS feed URLs for Patreon backers. Those URLs can then be added to most popular podcast-consumption apps, like iOS Podcasts, Downcast, Overcast, Podcast Addict, and more. When creators add new media file to their Patreon accounts, backers will receive them via their private RSS feeds.
The Patreon website discourages users from sharing their private RSS feed links. But it’s unclear if Patreon will be actively monitoring the usage of these feeds for potential infringement. And while it seems logical that these feeds would stop working for backers who’ve stopped donating, the website doesn’t say anything about this.
Patreon has made a change that clarifies how much creators are actually receiving. Those of you have a Patreon for your podcast may already be aware that the amount it showed you were getting per month wasn’t actually accurate. This may have led to some unnecessary confusion.
Previously, patrons would see the number Pateron said your podcast was making per month. It may have appeared that you had earned enough to have hit a milestone goal – when in reality, that simply wasn’t factual. The problem was that that Patreon was showing the amount of money your podcast earned per month – without taking into account fees and declined pledges.
As such, the situation could have placed some podcasters into the uncomfortable position of having their patrons expecting to receive whatever was offered for a milestone goal – before the podcaster had actually earned the money. It is easy to see why this was a problem.
Go have a look at Patreon, and you will see a change. There is now a little question mark that has appeared next to the phrase “per month”. Patrons can hover over the question mark to get more information. A small pop-up window says: “Estimated income per month, after removing fees and declined pledges. Click for more details”.
A slightly different pop-up is shown to the creator. “Don’t worry! This is your estimated income for this month, after removing fees and declined pledges. Actual pledge total available in your patreon manager. Click for more details.”
That “click” will direct patrons to the Patreon Help Center and a post that is titled: “Why Is My Public Facing Dollar Amount Less Than The Amount That Is Pledged To Me?” This post explains the new change to creators and to patrons.
Overall, this change was made for better transparency. Every creator, every patron, every visitor to your Patreon page will see the adjusted dollar figure.