If you follow me on Twitter, you'll have seen a lot of back-and-forth with other creators and supporters over what this actually means. It sounds good, right? More equitable for creators, and not so bad for supporters? Well, no. Ben Wolfe crunched the numbers and put out this chart:
This is strongly weighted to benefit supporters who do large pledges to very few creators. But if you support many creators at $1-$5 increments, you are going to be paying a lot of money on top of what you already pledge. If you pledge $1, 2.9% + $0.35 per pledge means you're actually pledging $1.37.
I am not okay with this. And, despite Patreon's assurances that they tested this program among many creators and supporters, I have yet to hear from any other creator who are okay with this. (Also, I've yet to hear from anyone who was part of this testing process, but let's move on.) All of the creators I know are just plain horrified that this is happening. We're pushing back: we've sent emails, and we're calling Patreon Support, and we're saying that this isn't fair. Small-dollar pledges are highly valued by creators. We know that sometimes a dollar is all you can spend to support someone who's making projects which bring you a little bit of joy. Or, spreading single-dollar pledges around a hundred different creators each month is how you choose to show your support. We appreciate every single dollar: a dollar out of your pocket is a dollar which goes to pay our bills. I am happy to continue paying Patreon's service charge myself to ensure that this transaction is as fair and as straightforward for my supporters as possible.
These changes to the billing structure are due to roll out on the 18th. Hopefully, Patreon will respond to the public pressure and will stop this before it happens. But if it does, I will be reevaluating my use of this platform. I will keep you updated as information is released. If you would like to send an email to Patreon yourself to protest these changes, that would help increase the public pressure.
Patreon is an invaluable source of income for me, and I am grateful for every one of my supporters. I apologize that this post was necessary, and hope that Patreon continues to allow me to pick up the service fees on all pledges. Thank you.