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Thread: The Patreon model for supporting content creators.... thoughts?

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    The Patreon model for supporting content creators.... thoughts?

    I had heard about this in passing in the past, but hadn't really had it come up for any of the content creators that I enjoy. Until last night. So I checked it out and I think it's a rather interesting idea.

    Basically, you agree to pay/donate a set amount of money per piece of content created (be it an article/blog post, a video on youtube/vimeo) that goes to the creator. As a donator/subscriber/whateveryouwanttocallit you can also set up a limit for the amount of money you pay per month. Let's say the creator typically posts 10 things a month and you wanted to go with $1 per content thinking it would just be $10 a month you can set it up so you top out at $10 a month in case they do something wild and have 30 pieces of content in a month. It won't charge you $10 if they only produce 7 pieces, you would only be charged $7.

    Basically, everyone pools their money together to pay for the content.

    Do any of you guys have experience with this as either a creator or as a donator? What do you think about it?

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    BillDoran (11-14-2014)

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    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: The Patreon model for supporting content creators.... thoughts?

    I prefer the monthly giving plan to the per video plan, I've seen some creators take their per video contribution and start splitting videos that used to be 1 into 3 pieces to take advantage of the system, with the monthly plan there really is no incentive to start screwing over your viewers.
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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: The Patreon model for supporting content creators.... thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I had heard about this in passing in the past, but hadn't really had it come up for any of the content creators that I enjoy. Until last night. So I checked it out and I think it's a rather interesting idea.

    Basically, you agree to pay/donate a set amount of money per piece of content created (be it an article/blog post, a video on youtube/vimeo) that goes to the creator. As a donator/subscriber/whateveryouwanttocallit you can also set up a limit for the amount of money you pay per month. Let's say the creator typically posts 10 things a month and you wanted to go with $1 per content thinking it would just be $10 a month you can set it up so you top out at $10 a month in case they do something wild and have 30 pieces of content in a month. It won't charge you $10 if they only produce 7 pieces, you would only be charged $7.

    Basically, everyone pools their money together to pay for the content.

    Do any of you guys have experience with this as either a creator or as a donator? What do you think about it?
    I don't support through Paetron, but I do support a Twitch Streamer/YouTuber I watch regularly through a Twitch.tv subscription. At the end of the day, Patreon is a nice little twist on the basic subscription model as it gives a bit more control to both parties, but I'm not sure it's a game changer relative to the basic subscription model. The best thing I think content creators (such as yourself, Doug) can do is ensure the cost structure is "bite-sized". It sounds silly, but I'd rather shell out $5/month on a subscription I can cancel anytime than $50 for a full year. It's also much less friction for the potential user to try it out at such a low cost.

    One model that would be very cool, but which probably requires something more integrated than Patreon would be the ability to buy by the article, one at a time, based on what I want to read. It could even have the ability to allow the creator to set the price on an article-by-article basis and would provide some basic stats about the length of article to the potential consumer. So it's not whether or not you post the content, it's whether or not I decide to read it. I imagine this isn't really feasible with the credit card companies due to their transaction fee structures (unless maybe it simply tallied a bill that came due and was paid automatically at the end of the month). I could see a fear that this would cause users to not read things because they'd have to feel the pain of buying each time. But at the same time, it would pull in more users who currently aren't willing to shell out for a larger amount.
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    BillDoran (11-15-2014)

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: The Patreon model for supporting content creators.... thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    I don't support through Paetron, but I do support a Twitch Streamer/YouTuber I watch regularly through a Twitch.tv subscription. At the end of the day, Patreon is a nice little twist on the basic subscription model as it gives a bit more control to both parties, but I'm not sure it's a game changer relative to the basic subscription model. The best thing I think content creators (such as yourself, Doug) can do is ensure the cost structure is "bite-sized". It sounds silly, but I'd rather shell out $5/month on a subscription I can cancel anytime than $50 for a full year. It's also much less friction for the potential user to try it out at such a low cost.

    One model that would be very cool, but which probably requires something more integrated than Patreon would be the ability to buy by the article, one at a time, based on what I want to read. It could even have the ability to allow the creator to set the price on an article-by-article basis and would provide some basic stats about the length of article to the potential consumer. So it's not whether or not you post the content, it's whether or not I decide to read it. I imagine this isn't really feasible with the credit card companies due to their transaction fee structures (unless maybe it simply tallied a bill that came due and was paid automatically at the end of the month). I could see a fear that this would cause users to not read things because they'd have to feel the pain of buying each time. But at the same time, it would pull in more users who currently aren't willing to shell out for a larger amount.
    I have a subscription model at my site that I only offer on a month-by-month basis and it does seem that most people do like that. But I had heard from more than a few people that they refuse to pay that way and would only buy it for a year up front.

    With the system that I use for my services I could sell an article one at a time. I've never looked into it because it just seems like too much of a hassle to be honest. I only do five or so premium articles a month as it is. I use paypal as my payment system, so I do get the fees taken out and I'm not sure if there would be a difference between whatever I would charge for a single article versus the $3.58 I get out of the $4.00 I charge per month to get the premium access, but I'm sure it would be minimal on my end. I do think you are right that having to buy each article would stop people from reading them after a short period of time and then they would stop coming back, which is never good for business.

    Quote Originally Posted by KronoRed View Post
    I prefer the monthly giving plan to the per video plan, I've seen some creators take their per video contribution and start splitting videos that used to be 1 into 3 pieces to take advantage of the system, with the monthly plan there really is no incentive to start screwing over your viewers.
    Yeah, that was the first thing that went through my mind when I first looked into it. I was glad to see that you could set a limit for the month just in case someone did try to "scam the system".

    What I think I am going to do is keep track of his productions over the next month and then decide whether or not to toss him $7.50 a month. He had a lot of cool things that I do enjoy, but I want to see where he goes with things since he's gone down this road.

    I do like the whole thing in theory though. I watch almost half of my television content through youtube/roku/vimeo these days (not counting netflix or Hulu Plus on the roku either), so I wouldn't mind paying for the content to a point. I watch a lot of youtube through my xbox or roku and you get real commercials every time before a video, unlike on the website where you sometimes will get the ad overlays instead. Guys only get paid for the commercials if they are watched entirely or for the first 30 seconds, whichever comes first. So I always watch them on channels all of the way through, even sitting through a 9 minute commercial once - which was infuriating, just to be sure that guy got an extra thirty cents that day. If 10% of the people did that instead of skipping them, it would really make a difference for them, so I always try to watch the ads.
    Last edited by dougdirt; 11-15-2014 at 12:10 AM.

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    BillDoran (11-15-2014)

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    Member Beltway's Avatar
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    Re: The Patreon model for supporting content creators.... thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I had heard about this in passing in the past, but hadn't really had it come up for any of the content creators that I enjoy. Until last night. So I checked it out and I think it's a rather interesting idea.

    Basically, you agree to pay/donate a set amount of money per piece of content created (be it an article/blog post, a video on youtube/vimeo) that goes to the creator. As a donator/subscriber/whateveryouwanttocallit you can also set up a limit for the amount of money you pay per month. Let's say the creator typically posts 10 things a month and you wanted to go with $1 per content thinking it would just be $10 a month you can set it up so you top out at $10 a month in case they do something wild and have 30 pieces of content in a month. It won't charge you $10 if they only produce 7 pieces, you would only be charged $7.

    Basically, everyone pools their money together to pay for the content.

    Do any of you guys have experience with this as either a creator or as a donator? What do you think about it?
    I'm of the opinion that pay walls harm more than they help. Unfortunately, I haven't heard of a good study on the subject, so my opinion could be complete bull.

    Have you considered something like Subbable?
    Last edited by Beltway; 11-15-2014 at 09:05 AM.

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: The Patreon model for supporting content creators.... thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beltway View Post
    I'm of the opinion that pay walls harm more than they help. Unfortunately, I haven't heard of a good study on the subject, so my opinion could be complete bull.

    Have you considered something like Subbable?
    To be clear, this isn't something that I'm considering using for my website or anything. I'm comfortable with what I am using for my website.

    I just really enjoyed this model for more of the "video content producers" that I watch all over the internet, but wanted to see what others thought. As someone who does create content for a living I always wonder if my outlook on things is different from others because I know the struggle of trying to find a way to turn what you do into something that can support you (still struggling here), so I always wonder if I'm just thinking of how I would like others to support me in that way when I see something like this and think how it's such a good idea.

    Plus, having heard of Patreon before, but never checking into it since none of the producers I was checking out had gone that route, I wondered if anyone here had any experience with it.

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    Member kpresidente's Avatar
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    Re: The Patreon model for supporting content creators.... thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beltway View Post
    I'm of the opinion that pay walls harm more than they help. Unfortunately, I haven't heard of a good study on the subject, so my opinion could be complete bull.
    Probably depends a lot on your target demographic. College kids won't pay, older people with real jobs might.

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    Re: The Patreon model for supporting content creators.... thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    One model that would be very cool, but which probably requires something more integrated than Patreon would be the ability to buy by the article, one at a time, based on what I want to read. It could even have the ability to allow the creator to set the price on an article-by-article basis and would provide some basic stats about the length of article to the potential consumer.
    Could you do this with Kindle/Amazon?
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