Patreon Series E Funding Announcement

In case you missed it…

Patreon just announced $90 million in new funding!

That’s right. $90 million. With it, we’re going to change the creator economy.

Because of so many conversations with so many of you, we know the best way to continue to fund the creative class is to build a global network, on creator-friendly terms, where exclusive content and community can grow and develop. As such, we are going to focus on three key areas:

  • Growing Internationally
  • Enhancing the patron experience
  • & helping you expand your audience with more discovery tools

Read more about this exciting announcement on our blog
Or check out Jack’s newest video
Jack and Carlos also held an AMA on Reddit following the announcement that you can find here

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It’s sad how that bullet point list is literally NOT the three most important things your CREATORS are asking for. Which is evidenced by the fact that a platform capable of securing $90 million USD can’t collect more than 3 “likes” on a post in their own Creator Forums about securing $90 million USD. It’s almost like you don’t know what excites your Creators?

Yay. Congrats.

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I’ve said it before, but it’s worth saying again, that Patreon does not understand who their customers are. Creators are their customers, NOT Patrons. Patrons are OUR customers. Patreon has forgotten that they are a payment platform that connects Creators with Patrons. In other words, connects me to my customers.

Until they remember this, they’ll continue to focus on the wrong things.

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Reddit AMA involved a lot of things happening, but the tone of it is still the same - many creators are thankful for a platform like this, but still, there are a lot of issues to improve. And what is really sad is that creators of Patreon answered mainly to the thankful and laudable posts… So I will share my feedback to add a brick here:

Patreon takes a lot of charge from Creators - this is something that can be lowered taking into account that your company is doing really, really well. This will make you have more clients (creators), hence more income. Look at Github Sponsors, Buy Me a Coffee, even Ko-Fi) You want to be more creators friendly? - be it.

The biggest disadvantage of Patreon imho is your take on marketing - you are promoting only people who are already doing really, really well. I never discovered someone starting or with few Patrons only on Patreon. That’s said you are only supporting people who succeeded (many times on their own), looking like preying on successful artists instead of helping growing indie artists and creators. And I understand that from your economical point of view, though I see it as awful movement.

The second is that I actually can’t do anything useful with my page, editor capabilities are really gruesome, I have no power here. Why can we make custom pages? Where is custom CSS support?

You don’t need to enhance Patrons experience - we are already taking care of it. You will then tell us that you spend ~30 million on enhancing patron experience which is literally not your merit. Just give us proper tools. Care about creators.

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So taking above bullet list - those are so generic terms… those are actually effects of actions, not actions. So, still there is the question:

What will you do?

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sounds great. use the money to eliminate the 5% fee you cut from us until the various issues with the website are fixed instead of whatever vague things “growing internationally” entails

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Sounds good in theory, although I don’t expect the first two to have a big impact on individual creators. The last one (discovery tools) could be huge, depending on how things are handled, but it’s tricky, and ultimately we don’t have enough details to even speculate what the actual outcome might be. Still, it’s good to know you are trying to make discovery easier.

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Will you be able to afford an intern or two for taking care of maintaining, updating and fixing the API now?

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Not sure what this means for us as creators. I hope some of that money will be put into improving our pages so we can have things like organized albums, galleries and such. One of the biggest hurdles for my new patrons to overcome is how difficult it is to find content on the current website. The blog post style is just not working well for those of us offering access to content. The search box helped a lot but it doesn’t work on some devices and is still clunky. Also bulk post editing for old posts will make it much easier to offer short term special offers and such. As it is now I would have to edit over a thousand posts to add any new tiers. Please use a portion of that money to make these needed edits.

As for comments about making the site more friendly to small creators. I get the frustration. It can be hard to get seen in such a competitive field. But Patreon has never toted itself as a way to get found. They made it very clear from the get go that they are a way for active creators to connect with their followers. It is in addition to what the creator is doing elsewhere not a one stop shop. The creators who do well on Patreon are ones who have worked hard for years to build up a loyal fan base. I don’t see that changing. There has to be a long term relationship of trust with followers before they will start offering support and it is not Patreon’s fault if that has not been developed through social media.

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