You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Patreon Launches Tiered Pricing for Creators, Introduces Rates for Micropayments

Membership services platform Patreon is growing up: The company announced Tuesday that it is moving away from its one-size-fits-all pricing model for creators, introducing two new tiers in the process. In addition, Patreon is also standardizing its payment processing fees, and introducing a new dedicated rate for small-donor transactions.

Patreon’s cut of the membership fees for the tier most closely resembling the current model is being raised by 3 percent, but existing members are grandfathered in to keep the existing pricing as well as payment processing fees. “Nothing changes for existing creators,” promised senior vice president of product Wyatt Jenkins.

There are quite a few changes for anyone signing up for Patreon going forward though: Most creators will be able to choose between two plans: A Lite plan that comes with just one membership tier, meaning all of your members pay the same amount every month. The second option is a Pro plan, which offers membership tiers, analytics, app integrations and more.

Patreon keeps 5 percent of any membership fees collected by creators on the Lite plan. For Pro creator, that cut is now 8 percent. Both Lite and Pro creators have to also pay payment processing fees for each transaction.

In addition to these two plans that are open for everyone, Patreon is also debuting a Premium plan for creators with a sizeable base of supporters, which includes an option for merchandise, and access to a dedicated partner manager. Patreon’s cut from this plan is 9 percent plus payment fees for existing creators, and 12 percent for new creators. There is also a $300 per month minimum base fee for this tier, and at least for now, it is only available on an invitation basis.

Alongside with these changes, the company is also standardizing its payment processing fees. Previously, it charged creators anywhere from 2 to 10 percent per month to account for fees from payment processors. Now, it is introducing a new payment processing fee of 2.9% plus $0.30 for each transaction for any charge of $5 or more. For smaller amounts, say a $1 a month monthly membership, the company is introducing a new micro-payment fee of 5% and $0.10 for each transaction.

“Patreon has grown a lot, we have really different types of creators,” Jenkins said talking about the new tiered model. The company now serves both small painters with a few dozen supporters, and independent media organizations with multiple paid staffers, he said. In light of these differences, it didn’t make sense to treat everyone the same.

That’s especially true for smaller creators. Jenkins said that Patreon had noticed that many of them actually drop off during the sign-up process as soon as they are asked to choose multiple supporter levels and rewards. “It was almost like we tried to speak to 2 audiences in the same way, and it wasn’t working,” he said.

However, Jenkins also acknowledged that the move to tiered pricing, and the increase in fees that goes along with it, was meant to assure creators that Patreon will be around for the long haul. “We are able to create a long-term, sustainable, viable company,” he said, adding that Patreon could have chosen to turn itself into an acquisition target instead. “What we are saying to the market with this move is: We are going to stay independent,” he said.

Jenkins joined Patreon in late 2017, just days before the company attempted its last major pricing change. Back then, Patreon announced that it would charge payment fees to consumers going forward, leading to a rebellion of creators who feared that they would lose supporters over those added fees.

Patreon quickly reversed course, and Jenkins said that the company learned a lot from the fiasco. “Creators don’t want us between them and their fans,” he said, which is why the company decided to continue to charge payment fees to creators. This time around, the company also got more feedback from its creative community, with Jenkins saying that it talked to over 1000 creators about the new changes.

Still, Jenkins fully expects some creators to resist the change, even though existing members will be able to keep their 5 percent split going forward. “There is this natural tension between art and capitalism,” he said.

More Digital

  • hdhomerun roku app

    HDHomerun App Brings Live TV to Roku Devices

    Roku users are getting another way to watch live television with the help of their favorite streaming devices: Silicondust, maker of the HDHomerun TV tuners, has released a beta version of its HDHomerun app for Roku TVs and streaming devices. “We need to start out by saying this is very much a beta product,” the [...]

  • Vox Media

    Vox Media Staff Ratifies First Union Contract, Negotiated by Writers Guild

    Staffers at Vox Media, which includes Curbed, Eater, Polygon, Recode, SB Nation, The Verge and Vox.com, have ratified their first collective bargaining agreement with more than 90% in support. The staffers are represented by the Writers Guild of America East. Vox Media’s 350-member unit began bargaining their first contract in April 2018. The campaign to [...]

  • Joslyn Davis, Lily-Marston - Shared Media

    Clevver’s Joslyn Davis, Lily Marston Launch Their Own YouTube Media Venture (EXCLUSIVE)

    Here’s the latest chapter in the saga of Clevver, the entertainment/lifestyle YouTube network marooned by the shuttering of former parent Defy Media and subsequently snapped up by Hearst Magazines. Two of the principal creatives behind Clevver — Joslyn Davis and Lily Marston — together with Clevver Media co-founder Jorge Maldonado have launched Shared Media, their [...]

  • Money-Diaries-Refinery29

    Refinery29 to Produce Interactive Series Funded by Eko (EXCLUSIVE)

    Refinery29 has been bitten by the “Bandersnatch” bug. The millennial-female-focused digital media and entertainment company inked a pact with Eko, an interactive-video platform developer whose backers include Walmart, to produce several “choose-your-own-adventure”-style series based on Refinery29 content properties. The companies have started development on their first project: an interactive scripted adaptation of Refinery29’s popular “Money [...]

  • Dan Howell

    YouTube Star Dan Howell Comes Out as Gay: 'It Gets So Much Better'

    It’s Pride Month, and popular YouTube vlogger Dan Howell had a message for fans that he’d been working on for a year: “Basically, I’m Gay,” he shared in a video Thursday. In the 45-minute video, Howell discussed coming to terms with his sexual orientation and his thoughts on labels that people use to define themselves [...]

  • Netflix Expands Korean Content Commitment

    Netflix Expands Korean Content Commitment as Industry Deepens

    Global streaming giant, Netflix is expanding its involvement in the Korean film and TV industries by greenlighting several new shows and renewing others. “When we started three years ago, we had a high degree of confidence that Korean drama would work well in Asia, but we had no internal metrics of our own,” Korean content [...]

  • Instagram Logo

    Instagram Outage: Facebook’s Photo Sharing Service Went Down For Multiple Hours

    Instagram faced another major outage Thursday afternoon, with users from around the world reporting that they weren’t able to access Facebook’s photo sharing service via its app and website. An Instagram spokesperson told Variety around 5pm PT that the issue had been resolved: “Earlier today, a technical issue caused some people to have trouble accessing [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content