Feature Request: Let Posts Expire!

I love the idea that patrons can have early access, but I would really like to have a feature in the reverse. I’d love to set posts that expire. This would reward patrons for loyalty and also give you an additional tool to reward new patrons without offering them everything you’ve ever posted.

What are some potential drawbacks to this and how could they be avoided?

10 Likes

Members who expect Patreon to behave like a blog, with entries that remain forever.
Google and other search sites expecting links to remain active until physically changed.

I could see myself using that feature. I like to add exclusive content, but keeping it active only for a certain time would encourage people to stay patrons instead of joining once and getting everything at once.
If such a feature would be added, it should display how long the posts stay active so users are warned. I wouldn’t care about search engines, since content being deleted is perfectly normal.

4 Likes

Agreed. I feel like it would totally eliminate the join and jump tendency. Either this feature or lock posts prior to joining the Patreon. Not sure which I’d prefer. Either way, it would also allow you to offer previous releases to new patrons as an incentive without having to offer EVERYTHING.

I already do this by deleting old posts manually, but being able to schedule it and have it happen automatically would be awesome.

2 Likes

I hadn’t considered doing that. Seems like it would be a lot of work.

Thinking about this from a different angle. Would it be possible for certain posts to be locked retroactively? Like you’d have access to it forever but ONLY if you were a patreon at that time, and you wouldn’t have access to things that posted previous to that?

Example: one of my two Patreons has audio files on it, two added per month. Right now, literally, there is nothing to stop someone from signing up, downloading all two dozen I’ve put up over the last two years, then logging out - which is 1/24th of the price that it cost people who’ve been here the whole time to get all those goodies. I know the obvious answer is to delete the audio files after a certain period, but I don’t necessarily want to do that.

4 Likes

totally agree with Tamara!

We must reward continuity !!!

I manually remove some content every month, because it is not fair that the one who has just arrived receives for 5usd the same as the one that has been supporting me for many months and paying 80 …

but this generates me every month some patrons who ask me for the content of some previous month that they forgot to download or have lost

It would be great if existed the option that the posts could only be accessible to the patrons who paid that month, and not to others.

1 Like

Keep all your new releases (in my case it’s members-only song downloads and streams) contained in 1 post, and then update it as necessary.
I include a special link back to it at the bottom of all my posts, so members new and old never need to go hunting through old posts to get at the exclusive content.
Thoughts?

Rock on, Will

This exactly! I would actually prefer this to expiring posts.

I reward continuity. I create content that can be used for commercial purposes. New members don’t have access to all of my previous work, so keeping links to the releases doesn’t work for me. Letting posts expire does as well as an option to lock posts to future patrons.

1 Like

I’d like to provide a counter argument to this idea - one of our perks is a “Show after the Show” where we discuss the behind the scenes of a specific episode and idea. If someone is new to the channel (or whatever you create) and they sign up for Patreon shortly after discovering you, why would you want to remove content that might help make them stay around?

For us in particular, there are some videos that still get views years after the public-facing video was posted. We had an interview with a guest on our Patreon page and it’s still one of the biggest draws from its public facing video that references it.

Again, I’m mostly providing a counterargument because most people in this thread are focusing on people who have been fans for a while and sign up for Patreon to get all the past perks, rather than someone newly discovering the content and wanting as much as they can find. Don’t squash that enthusiasm!

/soapbox

2 Likes

As mentioned before: to reward and encourage continued support. To support it with numbers and a specific example:
On my channel, patrons get commercial fonts worth around $25 starting at the lowest $2 pledge tier. That’s a good deal. To reward continued support, I will add fonts over time. Let’s say I have 4 packages now. Now someone can get all fonts worth $100 for a single $2 pledge and instantly cancel again. But if would let those posts expire, I could always have just one font package active and it will change over time. Loyal patrons get them all. New patrons get one package. The deal is still very good, but you can’t get more and more over time with a single pledge you can cancel instantly.

It goes without saying that the expiration feature would be a per-post option. Creators wanting to keep the entire back catalog of posts and perks can do that of course.

1 Like

There are arguments for both sides since everyone’s Patreon set up and offerings are unique. The choice to automatically expire (or not) would be nice tho.

Or even just a way to bulk delete (an archive list with check boxes) as I’ve personally like to remove old posts that don’t show the level of my current work or involve tangents I tried out and decided to discontinue offering.

2 Likes

I make two bonus videos for my patrons every month, one for $5+ and one for $10+. I used to have all of them available but changed it this past spring.

Now the videos are available for them to download and keep forever, but they only have 60 days to download. I make that clear when I put up the post with the video link, giving them the date they have until.

One day before that date is up I make a reminder post, that they have until the next day. Then the video will no longer be free, but be for sale on Etsy.

The next day I edit the post, replacing the download link with a link to the Etsy listing and making the post public.

I’ve had patrons tell me the 60 days is generous, I could do just the current month, but 60 days feels right to me.

I only had one patron leave when I changed to this system, but I suspect she didn’t understand that she could keep the videos forever, she just had to get them downloaded before the time was up.

1 Like

I think it would be great if continued support could be rewarded in some ways. Like Patreon could automatically notify someone who’s been a patron for X amount of time and send them a post/reward that they’ve unlocked simply by being a patron for that specific amount of time. I would prefer that to expiring posts.

3 Likes

I think this is an interesting idea. I was actually planning to do this manually myself; I don’t know if I’d need an actual feature, but it could be handy.

I’m coming up on my 5-year anniversary, and I doubt that the majority of my new patrons go back 5 years to read 600+ posts worth of old content. My plan is to not let the old content expire, but to make everything ~4 years old or older only available to the higher tiers, starting at my anniversary in November.

For me, it would also be vital to be able to pick which posts expire. Without that, I’d rather just continue doing it manually.

I do also offer specific email/snail mail rewards that only patrons who support for the current month get, so I don’t feel I need all my old posts to expire.

I like the option of an Automatic ‘Expired’ on some posts, but not all. Like, small updates that doesn’t entirely contain content likely doesn’t need to be kept forever, while provided downloads and tutorials I’d like to keep for any and all. Having it as an available option would really save time searching old stuff that doesn’t give back to my little community.

2 Likes