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Patreon's New Update Regarding Pledges

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So Patreon sent me an email regarding updates to the pledge system - extra fees.

In short - An extra 2.9% + 0.35$ is added to each pledge you do.



Dear patron,

Your support is truly changing the lives of creators around the world. You give creators a reliable paycheck that enables them to do their best work. Thank you thank you thank you.

In order to continue our mission of funding the creative class, we’re always looking for ways to do what’s best for our creators. With that, we’re writing to tell you of a change we’re making so that all Patreon creators take home exactly 95% of every pledge, with no additional fees.

Aside from Patreon’s existing 5% fee, a creator’s income on Patreon varies because of processing fees every month. They can lose anywhere from 7-15% of their earnings to these fees. This means creators actually take home a lower percentage of your pledge than you may realize. Our goal is to make creators’ paychecks as predictable as possible, so we’re restructuring how these fees are paid.

Starting December 18th, we will apply a new service fee of 2.9% + $0.35 that patrons will pay for each individual pledge. This service fee helps keep Patreon up and running.

We want you to know that we approach every change with thoughtfulness for creators and patrons. By standardizing Patreon’s fees, we’re ensuring that creators get paid to continue creating high quality content. If you have questions or would like to learn more, please visit our FAQ here.

The Patreon team


Patreon has always boasted that its creators get 95% of their pledges in their pocket. Then there are fees, so it may be between 85-93%. That sounds like a reasonable percentage. I recognize that most pledges are very small and creators can earn a good amount of money by appealing to more patrons. There will be very many transactions to process and providing a stable, pleasant platform is crucial. I think they do a good job, I like to be a patreon.


Now I make small pledges myself, being in college and all. I take comfort knowing that each bit helps and a large percentage of my contribution helps my favorite creators. Now that changes:

Pledge - My cost - Creator Receives  - Percentage going to creator

$1.00 - $1.38 - $0.95 - 69%

$5.00 - $5.50 - $4.75 - 86%

$10.0 - $10.64-$9.50 - 89%

$20.0 - $20.93-$19.0 - 91%


So my small pledge is suddenly making much less of an impact! I now know not to bother with small pledges. Patreon takes 31% of your 1$ pledge. For me to feel like I have a real impact, I need to

1) Spend at least 5$ per pledge. This means I spend much more

2) Choose which creators I still want to support.


I have always chosen 1$ pledges, because as a student, I think 60$ a year is too much. Manageable, but with multiple pledges just too much. Now I feel the Patreon system is cheating on our promise of 95% going to the creator.

In the end, I personally will not increase my pledge for this reason. I just feel worse about being a patron. People that already spent 5$+ per pledge might feel less cheated about losing 10% of their pledge in fees.

What is your stance on the matter?

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I'm actually somebody who's really against the use of Patreon and supporting it as it is a bit different than crowd funding (which is something I remain neutral on), but I understand why some people have to do it just to actually live and survive doing what they love. Anyways, it sucks that Patreon has to raise their rates but as Patreon grows they need more funding to keep it running so I doubt this will be the last time they announce an increase. It sucks, but there's only so much you can do about it.

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Well, there IS so much that Patreon can do about it. That's the point of my argument. So I squarily disagree with you out there.


You can easily think of a few -

1. reduce paypal fees by bundling transaction fees (like they were doing previously)

2. Find a different model to prevent double-charging. I suppose a reduced subscription pledge for the first month is one I like.

3. Yearly subscriptions. You want to pledge 1$ per month, but not pay paypal fees 12x a year? Then do a yearly pledge of $12. What a concept ...


You may think of your own preference, but one thing is for sure : Credit card payments of 1$ is an expensive thing and inefficient way to support a creator. And your argument that they are growing and need more fees is true - they take a percentage of everything. So they get more funding as they grow without increasing rates.


EDIT: I just read a cool idea about buying Patreon credits. One transaction for Paypal, but you determine how and how fast these credits go towards creators.


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