Updates to your patron count display numbers

Today we rolled out an update that changes the way your patron count is displayed.

The patron count number now includes all patrons with memberships set for automatic renewal i.e. all patrons who have not cancelled their membership. This number does include patrons with declined payments who are still scheduled for automatic renewal.

So, what is factored into your patron count now?

Now, the homepage patron count matches what you see in PRM.

  • The Patron count and earnings estimation on your creator page include all active patrons with access in the current month.
  • This number includes all patrons whose access has not expired as a result of cancellation.
  • Patrons in a declined state are not included in this count to ensure that the number you’re seeing is not inflated.

We’ve updated the Help Article: Understanding the numbers listed on my creator page with all of this information, under the section: Why did my numbers suddenly change?

Edit, with extra context for how this number is affected at the beginning of each month

At the beginning of the month, we give all “Active” and “Paid” patrons a 2 day extension (essentially a grace period) so that no membership access is lost while we process payments. All patrons with an “active” or “paid” status are included in this period.

What is an “active” patron during this extension?

  • Patrons who have canceled their pledge the previous month are still categorized as “Active” while we are processing payments
  • The “active” status extension is not a new process we’ve implemented, however it feels like it is because of the new patron count formula.
  • Patrons with the “active” status who have canceled their pledge do not retain access to your/the creators content.
    – NOTE: The tools team is aware of this confusing behavior and is working to address it.

After the 2 day extension period:

  • Any patron who cancelled their pledge in the prior month will be subtracted from the patron count and removed from the “Active” list
  • After the extension period, your patron count will go back to a more accurate read of current patrons

I hope this provides more helpful info!

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This number doesn’t hold much importance for me personally, and to have some consistency across various overviews is a welcome change.

The number does feel inflated if cancelled memberships are included, but this decision makes sense, since these patrons did pay and they have active memberships until the end of the month. (Although I don’t know if this makes sense for creators who do not have CUF…?)

So if I understand this correctly - declined patrons will not be excluded while Patreon retries to bill them? When the automatic attempts to bill them fail, they’re substracted from the count?

So we’ll see a dip at the start of the month (due to cancelled pledges) and then another potential dip after the 3rd (declined pledges that will not be retried)? If a patron then updates their payment details (assuming this is the cause) the public facing number will include them again, and the count will be increased - same as with new patrons?

Ooops… So what was the meaning of the number displayed before?

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So, having looked at this I can say I totally hate this change! Just wondering who asked Patreon to do this???
Now I don’t know the real number of patrons I have at the moment and see some incorrect number which includes those who already canceled their pledge.
Dear Patreon, I love you but you have to know that this your update really sucks!

Ummm… I closed my January with 936 patrons and this morning the number is 800. I checked the relationship manager and there were 12 declined or canceled patrons during the last week and 41 during the last month. How can this be? The numbers do not add up and make my patronage-based goals pointless.

Could someone shed some light to what is happening now, thank you.

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Hi @Miska_Fredman - I’m sorry this is a confusion transition. On and after the 3rd of the month, the “active” status extension (explained above) has ended, and your patron count should be a more accurate read of successful paid patrons. But I see the confusion that your numbers not matching up as they should be.
If your count has not caught up yet, please submit a ticket to support so they can look into your account to find the discrepancies. Very sorry for the inconvenience!

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@Reyna I am not a fan of this new method. It prevents me from hostinig membership drives because the number is not reflecting actual active patrons. I can’t say “let’s get to 100 patrons” and we do but actually we only have 98 because two dropped. How is that supposed to work?

Also, I just had a new member join my page about an hour ago and while the public dollar amount changed to reflect the addition the number of patrons remained the same. What is going on? You need to fix this and make it actually reflect current members. Decrease that number when someone cancels a pledge, increase it when someone joins. Basic, common sense. Sadly, Patreon seems to be seriously lacking it these days.

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And… 770 patrons suddenly turned into 615!.. I just love this! :grimacing:

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Now that I’ve been trying to figure this out, should this big drop be a one-time thing or is this to be expected now every month? (I mean, the big bump up when the update was done in January and now the numbers kind of “fixed” to correct numbers?)

Or is it so that all canceled patrons from the last month are now deducted at the turn of the month as a big lump all at once?

Just trying to figure out what to do with my goals as they are based on the number of patrons and one goal (850 patrons) went well over last month, and now it’s way under it again. And the reached goal shows on my goals list again while I already announced it reached.

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Technically, a ‘canceled’ patron is still your patron until the last day of the month, so including it in the count isn’t ‘wrong’, per see. What it does do is create a big change on the 1st of the next month (or whenever Patreon adjusts the numbers).

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Yeah, I didn’t say it’s wrong to show the canceled patrons, just trying to understand how this works and manage my own expectations. I did not anticipate this happening after the update, while I had read the announcement. Obviously, I did not fully understand how this affects the numbers. Now I’m thinking if I should switch to $ based goals as that doesn’t seem to fluctuate as much.

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I think they should just add an additional filter in PRM that shows all patrons who currently have access to content (subscribed + cancelled) but active patrons should be only those who are really active at the moment, i.e. only those who is currently subscribed (without cancelled patrons).
And the number of patrons on the page should reflect the second (clear) value, not the first one. It’s a really simple solution, I can’t understand why Patreon couldn’t do so.
Sadly my guess is that with the current system, we will be facing the same situation with a huge drop every month. And patron number based goals are totally broken with this system.

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Hi everyone -

Thank you for sharing your experiences with us and explaining discrepancies in your your patron count and PRM. We’ve identified a bug delaying the updates to the patron count number.

Here is a message from the support team, explaining the grace period and what is being affected:

There is a brief delay from when the payment cycle begins to when patrons who have cancelled their membership in the previous month are removed from your active memberships list. This is due to a two day grace period put in place to allow all payments to complete processing, including ones that may have failed on the first attempt. Although patrons who have cancelled are listed as “Active” for the first two days of the month, they will not have access to your patron only posts during this time.

Patrons who cancelled in the previous month will appear on your active list (and patron count) usually until 12 midnight Pacific Time on the 3rd of each month. These patrons will be removed from your patron count and Relationship Manager active list on the 3rd, which may appear as a sudden drop.

We identified an issue that is delaying the updates to the patron number, and you may be seeing patrons with expired access for longer than the usual timeframe due to some system delays. Our systems are slowly catching up and you should see this clear out and reflect the correct number of active patrons shortly.

We’re looking into the root cause of this issue right now and are working to resolve this so that you do not experience this delay again in the next billing cycle. That being said, it’s still under investigation as we speak.

Thank you for your patience while we investigate this!

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So I was at 209 patrons yesterday, with a monthly income of $610. My patron count has dropped to 189 and my income is still the same… WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON???

I am so sick of this! I had a 200-patron milestone celebration all lined up and now that’s gone out the window because Patreon can’t stop messing with patron counting!

Hey @Saxxxology, moved your comment into this post just to keep all the questions and conversations in one place!

My post above explains that we’ve identified a bug affecting the patron count number. We’re working to resolve this as quickly as we can!

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Thank you, Reyna.

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You have explained what is different, but not why. What was the purpose of this change?

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My patron count is still entirely off, according to the tools available on the site. According to the Manager, I have 101 patrons, 1 declines, and 3 cancellations. Earlier this month, I was at 107 patrons. Where are the missing 4?
In my Pledge Growth tab, it says I have 113 patrons, with no declines. If this is true, my patron count is off by 11, 12, or 8.
This is also reflected in my income payment, which appears to be missing between $30 and $60USD depending on which numbers are correct across Patreon.

I have sent a support ticket with the pertinent information, but I am absolutely outraged. If Patreon is trying to preserve their relationships with creators, they are failing.

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I have to throw in my thoughts here. Don’t get distracted by these numbers. I can understand the temptation, and I am sure I’ve put in some time of my own, but really this is not what is going to make your business. Concentrate on creating your work, look at how you can generate value for your patrons, and on how you can connect with them. Improve your retention. Build your community contact. All the best.

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