Last week you should have received an email from Patreon explaining a new fee structure to be implemented on the 18th of December. Yesterday, in the wake of the ensuing tsunami of outrage, they sent an apology letter announcing the new fees would NOT go into effect. Excellent news.
I was mostly away from the net trying to finish up on my Star Wars trading cards and the New Mexico landscape and came back after the weekend to what amounts to a complete explosion... or implosion of Patreon, depending on your point of view!
I spent Monday and Tuesday trying to catch up on what had happened, reading and digesting as much as I could. Wednesday I crafted a letter to give you the jest of it. I was going over it one last time before hitting the sent button when I got the news.
Quick Sum Up
If you're not aware of what did happen, here's a very quick sum up. It started with THIS announcement: Patreon was to take pledge processing fees away from creators and placing them on Patrons instead.
Processing fees were also now to be applied per pledge (instead of globally) at the rate of 2.9%+$0.35. This would disproportionately affect low pledges and patrons who subscribe to several creators as well as creators/patrons who have a 2-3 times per month paying system.
Someone who subscribes to 10 patrons at $1 would now see that support go from $10 to $13.80, or an additional $3.80 fee (34% hike).
This is akin to you going to the store to buy an item and being told, jeez, thank you so much, now we're going to charge you an additional fee to deposit this purchase into our own bank account!!!...
No surprise, people were absolutely outraged! It wasn't just the idea of making patrons pay for something creators felt should come out of their own pocket, it was the fact that it quickly became apparent this little move in fact added millions to Patreon's bottom line under the thinly disguised pretense of having the creators' best interest at heart. See Funny Money Patreon Style for a very good breakdown.
The tsunami literally left devastation in its wake. The hundreds of negative and disgusted comments and emails directed at Patreon's CEO and founders were a sight to behold.
Patrons cancelled their pledges in protest, creators stopped their subscriptions to protect their patrons, creators set up private subscriptions via Paypal to bypass Patreon, and numerous artists lost upwards of hundreds of dollars of monthly income. Like I said, utter implosion.
I myself immediately stopped the monthly subscriptions so you would not be charged additional fees as well in the interim of figuring out what to do.
Faced with the break in trust and hemorrhage they had started, Patreon reversed course and no changes in fees will be implemented... for the time being (see link at beginning of post).
Before all this I had briefly announced plans for a QUARTERLY Reward set up for 2018. Four times a year you would receive an envelope with multiple items, rather than the one per month.
I have a variety of art interest and want to keep things interesting, both for you on the receiving end and myself on the creative end. Doing the paper craft items and trading cards for Star Wars was a lot of fun. There will still be paintings and illustrations in your envelops off course, but also random fun items that get done on a whim, just because.
I'm also doubling down on growing the subscription to this platform and getting the first part of the ArtVentureZone course ready to launch. More on that into the new year.
A big heartfelt thank you for being with me through 2017. Your trust and believe in me means a great deal, so again, thank you so much for being a part of this journey.
You will NOT be charged on January 1st of 2018. As mentioned above, I stopped the monthly subscriptions because of impending fees initially and have decided to resume the pledges for February 1st, 2018.
This is a busy time of year for everyone. Between end of the semester at school and Christmas holidays coming up, we all need a little break. The quarterly set up will take place between now and the next few weeks. If you have any concerns, please let me know.
This has been a long update indeed. Thank you for reading to the end. I thought it important to keep you informed.
To finish, I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday Season, Happy New Year and a great many wonderful things coming into your life in 2018.