Membership services platform Patreon now has more than 3 million patrons who pay to support any of its over 100,000 creators every month, the company announced Wednesday. It’s also on track to pay more than $0.5 billion to creators this year.
Patreon’s business is growing at a healthy rate. Payouts have been nearly doubling year-over-year for the past few years, and the company expects to surpass $1 billion in total payouts this year. In other words: Patreon will pay as much to creators this year as it has paid since its launch six years ago.
Patreon has been primarily targeting smaller and independent creators, ranging from musicians to podcasters. The company is offering these creators an easy solution to ask their fans for monthly membership fees, and give them special content as well as other perks in exchange.
This year, Patreon wants to simplify sending out physical goods to patrons with its own merchandise solution, it announced Wednesday. And last year, Patreon acquired Memberful to offer bigger artists a chance to provide membership services through their own websites.
While Patreon is growing, it is also increasingly getting competition from other platforms looking to offer creators alternative revenue streams in addition to advertising. For instance, Facebook started testing paid memberships last March, and both Twitter and YouTube have been allowing live streamers to raise funding from their audiences.
However, this clearly hasn’t stopped fans from using Patreon to support their favorite creators. The service’s number of patrons increased by 1 million in 2018, Patreon announced Wednesday.