Patreon Service Fee Solutions

I have a feeling our potential solutions to solve the current problem were being lost amidst our frustration about the upcoming changes. I propose to use this thread exclusively for the sharing of ideas on how Patreon can solve the problems they are currently facing with the patron fees, pay up front, double billing, etc.

Feel free to copy and paste your ideas from the other thread. Vote up the ideas you like and do not shoot down anyone’s idea as we’re all brainstorming here, but feel free to add suggestions that might improve upon an idea.

Dear Patreon, your userbase is all creators. You will not find a better think tank for solving the current issues than us. If you will be transparent with us, we will gladly help.

My suggestion:
I don’t know why we have to take a system that is pretty clear and turn it into something complicated when the main problem could have been solved by better explaining (and offering!) options one time when patrons first sign up.

Problems: confusion with double billing at the end and beginning of the month

Hello new patron! Welcome to Patreon! We see that you are pledging (anytime after the 15th) on January 27th. Because it’s the end of the month and we run charges again at the beginning of next month, you have three options (Click to select):

Option A: I would like to pay now AND on the 1st to get this month and next month’s rewards.

Option B: I would like to wait to be charged on the 1st of next month and start getting my rewards then.

Option C: I would like to be charged one time now to get this month’s rewards and then have my pledge cancelled before next month’s billing. (Auto cancel their pledge if they sign up for this reward, but auto-follow the creator once canceled.)

IF Patreon insists patrons MUST be charged service fees (that the vast majority of creators said they would prefer paying) the above would also solve the multiple fee charges spread out all over the month that penalize patrons (especially $1 patrons) for pledging to multiple creators. BUNDLE it for them like you have been doing for us. Or better yet, let creators keep paying the fees and we will adjust our reward tiers accordingly to account for the rising cost of business. It’s much easier for us to explain ourselves to our patrons rather than having to try to explain you to them.


Some solutions i put on the other threads:
(Some are for this specific thing, some are relevant because they’d help with some of the issues that have been tagged as reasons for this and the future changes.)

Give creators the OPTION to opt in/out on the feature. Many of us are happy to eat the fees, since you guys don’t want to and it’s really not our patron’s responsibility to eat a BUSINESS EXPENSE.

Be 100% Transparent with WHY
While this isn’t a straight up solution to why many of us disagree with the changes, it would greatly help some of us understand what the heck is going on and WHY it is claimed this is better for creators when many have done the math and many situations seem like it’s NOT, let alone it is a shot in the foot for us and our supporters. Some people have alluded to some really good thoughts on why this is possibly happening and why this is allowed to happen.

  • Is aggregation of fees against some TOS of processing services? Is this why it’s being changed?
  • Isn’t putting the fee on the buyers against some of these TOS’s as well?
  • HOW are you guys getting away with this stuff when competitors have been shut down by the same payment processors because of these exact issues. What makes you guys exempt?

Pro-rate first month charges - Helps with Double billing

  • A patron’s first month charge is pro-rated (Example: Cost of tier is then divided by days in the month probably straight up 30 for ease and then is charged that cost times how many days are left in the cycle. Example, 15 days left in the month: $10 pledge / 30 * 15 = $5)
  • They get access to the blog and current month content, once charge has been completed. (I don’t see how this is much different than the imediate escrow payments that are already in place for what, $75+ pledges or what have you?
  • This prevents skimming content and also prevents full cost double charging.
  • They then get charged full pledge at the 1st of the month. So, full pledge gets access to all the rewards for that full paid month (especially custom stuff) while the pro-rate gives them access to the blog/content the creator has made available there.

Past Content Fee/Block people from seeing content before a successful pledge

  • I am still confused as to WHY this is so hard to prevent people from seeing content they haven’t paid for in the first place. I realize programming can be a royal pain when you’ve got stuff already in place but really. How many years has this been asked for? (Pretty much all of Patreon’s existence.)
  • This can be partnered with the pro-rate or on it’s own.
  • Creators can choose if they want to do it or not.
  • Creators can choose a cost to see all previously released content, as new pledges are typically only paying for the current months content, and will also help prevent previous content skimmers.

Fixing/Adding options to the Charge upfront feature
I made a big topic about this over HERE about how this feature does not currently help a good portion of artists and is a real pain in the butt for some of us. (Let alone that you cannot undo it.) Not quite on topic but related because it’s been talked about that the eventual aim is to help change fees and structure so that there is less of this skimming bs, yada yada. (It includes more pro-rate and other feature options as well.)

My reaction and concerns to the updated patreon blog post - Why changing from monthly to anniversary pledges is going to screw over lots of artists who use your service. (Another reason why I personally am happy to eat fees. Patreon made creating much simpler. These new changes will force me and others off the platform, especially those who rely on a monthly cycle to make CUSTOM CONTENT. Heck, you guys are a platform for creators, we CREATE, many of whom offer commissions and CUSTOM creations. Cmon.)

I can only hope that our concerns are actually being heard. There may be a lot of posts on the other threads but it’s all relevant and SHOULD be being read. The whole reason this forum exists was because you guys wanted interaction with your creators and to get feedback. USE IT. I am highly unimpressed and while i am probably one of the few who has yet to loose a patron (it’ll happen once payments process because many of my patrons is busy with, ya know, HOLIDAYS… :expressionless: Which i should be focusing on as well, but instead am trying to figure out where affording my living expenses are going to come from over the next few months. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


On note of pro-rating (I had made a post about this myself) you’d want patrons to pay the full pledge up front and then get the pro-rated price for the first month of their full-month pledge.

Otherwise someone could pledge on day 27, download rewards / get access for super cheap to get a few timed releases or a backlog, and leave.

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Really depends on how other features do or don’t get implemented. My other posts linked, (Pay Upfront Flaws & Suggestions specifically) had multiple options for pro-rate and pay upfront stuff that would solve this issue to begin with and pro-rate might not even be needed. So it really depends on where Patreon goes. My version of it is in conjunction with the other things mentioned in my post. If they don’t do any of the other suggestions that people have been pushing for a while, then yes, you are right.

(and even so, having the options to implement it in a few different ways, is kind of important simply because one size doesn’t fit all in this case.)

Link rewards to revenue, not promises of revenue

Give creators better visibility into the total after-fees revenue from each patron, and let them set notifications. Potentially, let them associate reward fulfilment or content-unlocking with those thresholds.

Gamify this from the patron perspective, as individual goals. “You’re nearly at Creator Wendy’s Gold Patron level. Two more months at your current pledge rate!”

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I completely agree with wanting to know some of the WHY. We can better help if we know some of the things Patreon is coming up against.

I too thought pro-rating would be a good option, unless a creator is making a one time bonus promotion and the new patron didn’t find out about it until the end of the month. For example: if they’re offering an enamel pin to new patrons in January, it would be sad to find out on the 25th and you were too late to get it even though you were actually pledging for that month. Perhaps if that were added to one of the options I mentioned in the first post?

Option D: I would like to pay a pro-rated amount and see this month’s blog content and then be charged the full amount at the first of next month to then qualify for the rest of this tier’s rewards beginning then.

(I’m sure there is a better way to word that, my brain is just sort of frazzled at this point.)

Is your suggestion on Past Content Fee something like what other creator’s use Gumroad for? I think some creators make a teaser image for the month’s content, release the actual rewards via message or email, and then upload it to Gumroad in a monthly or term # batch and sell it there or offer access to it as a higher reward tier. The previous content is not actually on their Patreon blog, but all the teasers and links to paid access are. This is not a feature I would probably use, but your suggestion definitely would streamline this quite a bit for those who do and Patreon would earn more as a result, plus creators using it would have a higher potential for a bump in earnings. It might make for more compelling higher reward tiers as well if they could unlock the previous term/month/year or whatever.

Yeah this is what i was trying to convey with one of my points :3 So we are totally on the same page here. :slight_smile:

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What I mean by this is, for example, I have hundreds of posts in my patreon blog. If we didn’t have to worry about bots, I would upload all my high-res content (and anything I private message patrons directly to avoid bots getting their hands on it) to the blog. This would mean that past rewards would all be available there. The current system has people having access to everything their tier and lower, even stuff they never paid for, from the past. On Swaggerdile, as a creator you were able to setup if you wanted to charge people a fee to view past content they didn’t previously pay for. (It was optional, as some creators don’t mind people getting access to old stuff.) So for lets say, a $50 fee, they could unlock ALL past content, or they could opt not to and only see stuff during the months they have successful pledges.

Hopefully that makes sense. :slight_smile:

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