Monday, December 18, 2017

Patreon Backs Off Fee Changes

On December 7th, I wrote a post about how Patreon planned to change their fee structure. I was not happy. Many patrons were not happy. The basic premise, Patreon was shifting the cost of the fees to the patrons instead of the creators. That was bad enough, but then they tried to make it seem like a good thing. Glossing it over with a couple graph bars to demonstrate how much more creators were going to make. Smarter folks than me figured out this was far from the case especially in the lower pledge amounts.

The result of this announcement, unsurprisingly, had effect on my Patreon. I had 82 patrons at the end of November. I lost 11 patrons, 9 of them specifically mentioned they did not like the fee change. There is always an ebb and flow in patronage, but this was my largest exodus in a week's time. 

I also to back off some of my pledges to creators. On average I pledge between $32 to $40 a month spread out between 12 creators. I cut my pledges in half when they announced the fee change. I've always been one to believe, you can protest all you want, shout it to the hills, but it isn't until they get hit in the wallet will they listen. This was my small gesture to do that. While my reduction was insignificant in the larger scale, so many patrons left that it had a seismic reaction in the Patreon offices.

On December 13th, Patreon sends an email that states that they made a bad decision and will not roll out the new fee changes. Great. Now what?

I was glad to see Patreon backed off the fees and admitted to making a mistake. How often does that happen? I am going to take Patreon at their word. I can't imagine they benefited from this decision. Some folks are painting Patreon as an evil, money grubbing entity. I'm not drinking the hatorade. They screwed up, admitted they made a mistake. And yeah, they are a money making machine, they are a business that revolutionized a modern take of patron of the arts. 

However, it has opened my eyes, that their are options to Patreon. Kickstarter has Drip, which is not open to the public at this time, but plans to open to the public early next year. The one that I found interesting was MakerSupport. I'm sure there are others, but those two stood out.

Now I am going to end this by looping around and talk about my patrons, the people who voluntarily pledge a few bucks so I can make my micro-adventures. As I stated above, I lost 11 patrons this month with no new pladges. Hell of a hit. But, the amazing revenue increased. Why? Because a bunch of patrons who were at a lower level upped their pledges. They wanted to show their support and if someone pledges at a higher level it off set the cost of the new fee structure. That kind of generosity catches me by surprise, and it shouldn't. As a whole, the gaming community is made up of an altruistic crew. Think of all the charity auctions earn thousands of dollars. People posting personal GoFundMe pages and earning more than the set goal. It's good to see. 

Now go make something.