Hey folks, I wanted to chime in here as I can feel the frustration in this thread.
Firstly, thank you for taking the time to share these concerns with us. Patreon cannot exist without creators and it pains me to hear that most of these issues hurt creators more the longer they are on Patreon, which is the opposite experience we would want for our most loyal members. It also sucks when we hear stories of the work arounds that patrons and creators have had to create to get around some of these issues. I just wanted to say thank you for being with Patreon for 6 years, for posting in this forum, and helping us improve the platform for everyone.
Secondly, you’re right @haikujaguar. A lot of recent improvements have been creator-centric, aiming to help you attract new patrons and get more of them to become patrons (patron acquisition and conversion in tech speak). These things are important to us as we want to make the process as seamless as possible for when a potential patron is thinking about joining as that puts more money into creators pockets.
However, we understand that the other side of that coin is equally important as you mentioned - keeping and retaining patrons. We don’t want to drive more patrons to join if they are going to leave - that would not be good. One of the reasons we’ve focused at the top of the funnel (the moment a patron joins) is because our patron research showed that a reason they leave is because they didn’t understand membership or the benefits they get. This leads to the patrons being confused, not knowing where to find the benefits they signed up for, and then leaving. By trying to provide more info upfront, we are hoping to have an impact down stream, which is why we are working so hard on the new creator landing page.
We have done a lot of patron and fan research in the second half of this year as we recognized it was an area we had not focused on enough lately. Plus, creators are the closest to their patrons concerns - you hear it the most - and that’s why your input is so crucial. The good news is that we are actively working on almost all of the things on your list but I understand that this is going to be one of those things where seeing will be believing, as @DrPaulEllis mentions . Once we have released improvements to some of these things over the coming months, I hope we can win your trust back. You’ll hear more about what we’re working on to tackle patron retention and other features very soon.
To respond to @agentredgirl’s points, Patreon currently has about 200 staff and 60 of them are in this forum and read it weekly, if not daily, to keep in touch with our community of creators who use Patreon. They don’t post a lot but they are here, reading and informing themselves on what creators needs are. We use the threads in the forum for research when we start working on something, we reach out to creators for their feedback and involvement in betas based on their posts in here, and post when we make changes to keep you informed. Every month the CEO of Patreon hosts a live video chat for an hour to listen to our community. Our number 1 company value is “Put Creators First”. We judge everything we do by that lens and we know that we don’t succeed unless our creators do.
On a final note, I’m going to make a new thread later this week that shares a little bit more about our plan for this forum next year as it touches on where I think some of the frustrations are being felt and will share the results from the survey I posted August/September.