Patreon, the membership services company for podcasters, YouTubers, musicians and other online creatives, announced this week that it is on track to pay out over $150 million to its publishers this year alone. This comes after Patreon announced in January that it had paid out a total of $100 million since its launch in 2014.
That growth stands in stark contrast to the common doom-and-gloom stories about falling ad revenue for online creators, said Patreon co-founder and CEO Jack Conte. “We are literally seeing the opposite happening.”
Conte, who is also known for being part of the YouTube-famous music duo Pomplamoose, founded Patreon in 2013. Initially just founded as a way to subsidize Conte’s YouTube income, Patron has since grown to host and manage subscription and membership services for over 50,000 creatives — a number that roughly doubled over the past 12 months.
The service is now being used by more than one million consumers, or patrons, to support the work of their favorite artists. That number has also doubled since last year.
Some use the service to simply send their favorite podcaster one or two dollars every month, while others pay significantly more for access to exclusive content, or early peeks at videos before they’re released on YouTube and elsewhere. Some of the more famous Patron users include musician Kina Grannis, online video maker Phil DeFranco and even public broadcaster PBS.
“We’re an open platform,” said Conte, explaining that no one would be turned away. But he also argued that Patreon works best for online content producers who regularly publish new material and have a direct connection to their audience. “The creators who do best on Patreon are authentic.”