Hey everyone –
Below is an early look at a blog post that our Product team is publishing later this week about our 2021 plans. There are some extra resources I’ve added for the community that won’t show up in the public post. But first, I want to say thank you for your recent reminders about how important it is for us to communicate regularly and transparently with you about Patreon’s product development. Sharing this 2020 recap and look ahead at 2021 is just one way we are planning to connect better.
And, in case y’all haven’t heard the super exciting news yet, we are in an exciting and transitional moment: we’ve hired a new Chief Product Officer who will be joining the team in early February – Julian Gutman! Julian is currently the Head of Product for the Home experience of Instagram, where he is responsible for the Instagram Feed, Stories, Ranking, Video, Profile and Interactions. Julian will need some time to get onboarded but he’s already in the loop of much of the product feedback.
Until then, I’ve been engaging in active conversation with my colleagues on the Executive, Product, and Support teams, to name a few, about how we might improve the flow of information between our team and our creators about the Patreon product.
Thanks again for all your feedback and patience. See a special community edition of next week’s blog post below:
Looking back: in 2020 we…
Opened up to our global community
We rolled out support for Euro and GBP, and enabled both creators and patrons to choose their preferred currency. We also added support for 4 new languages: German, French, Spanish and Italian, allowing hundreds of thousands of creators and patrons to use Patreon in their native language. See our community announcements below:
Made hassle-free merch available to more creators
Creators who charge monthly now have access to Merch for Membership: our solution for getting exclusive merch out to patrons as part of their membership, without any of the hassle for creators. Patreon takes care of tracking eligibility, production, global shipping, and support.
Introduced Annual Membership, with a discount!
Who doesn’t love a discount? This year we launched Annual Membership, one of the most requested features from creators and patrons alike. Eligible Creators can enable the feature and set a custom discount on a whole year of membership in their settings. Annual membership is a great way to get new patrons: 35% of annual pledges actually come from new members, and the discount has allowed creators to offer compelling promotions to their audience.
Improved tools for running your membership
We made improvements to the Patron Relationship Manager to help you keep track of your communications with patrons and fulfill benefits quickly and easily. You now have access to customizable columns, time-saving shortcuts including “New” and “Cancelled,” Saved Filters to track recurring benefits, and more.
Took a big step forward for our Podcast community, with Acast
This year we launched our partnership with Acast, the world’s largest podcast network. Our integration enables podcasters to deliver secure, patron-only RSS feeds to patrons who can listen on their app of choice. Using it will give you access to advanced listener analytics through Acast, and seamlessly convert listeners to patrons to grow your membership. Learn more here.
In 2021, we’re looking to…
Improving the patron experience
Over the years, we’ve learned that one of the best ways to serve our creators is to ensure your patrons are happy. So in 2021, we’re focusing on improving the patron experience. We understand that thousands of you rely on Patreon to sustain your creative business and connect with your audience, and we take that seriously. The reliability of the mobile and desktop platform is a fundamental pillar of the patron experience, and we will continue to invest in it. And while Patreon needs to be dependable, we also want it to be a more engaging experience for your patrons by making it fun and easier to use.
Growing our global community
We will continue making Patreon a welcoming place for creators and patrons across the globe, so we’ll continue adding new languages, currencies, and payment methods throughout the year.
- Incase you missed it: CAD is here
Making it easier for you to manage membership
While the Patron Relationship Manager helps you manage your audience, its real value is facilitating this direct connection with your patrons that makes your membership meaningful to them. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to manage your critical tasks quickly, so you can get back to creating and connecting with patrons. In 2021 we’ll work on making things easier to manage on the go - streamlining benefit tracking and delivery, and making vital patron details more easily accessible as you interact with them across posts and messages.
- Starting with updating our messaging functionality: Recent and upcoming messaging updates
Helping patrons discover more of what they love
We know that as a creator, you put a lot of work into growing your audience and your creative business. When we ask you what you want more help with, growing your audience is the #1 request. When we ask patrons what they want, many of them say they’d like a better way to discover more creators on Patreon. We also know that patrons who pledge to more than one creator tend to stick around longer. We believe that by helping patrons find more creators they love, we can help you grow your business and improve patrons’ overall experience on Patreon. But we don’t want to build a system that recommends content in the same way that the big platforms do. We don’t need more algorithms that reward click-bait, superficial engagement and sensationalist content. We want to build features that allow creators to recommend other creators, and amplify the connections that already exist between communities that share interests. We want to do all of this in a way that respects you and the communities you’ve built. We’ll start by improving search so that anyone looking for a specific creator has a better chance of landing on their page, and start to add more ways to search by topic or genre. Then we’ll start testing ways to get community-curated recommendations to patrons and build features around what works best.
We have a long way to go but we’re excited to dive into this new year by doubling our efforts to make Patreon even better for you and your patrons.