Some of you may already be aware of Patreon's upcoming changes to their fee structure. For those of you who are not aware, the existing way that Patreon handles payments is this: for each creator, Patreon takes a 5% cut of their total pledges; 7-15% goes towards transaction fees; and the remaining 80-88% goes to the creator. So essentially the burden of paying Patreon and paying various transaction fees falls on creators. It kind of sucks not knowing exactly how much any given monthly payout is going to be but most creators (including myself) are happy to do this if it means keeping costs low for patrons, especially ones who can only donate $1-2/month.
The announced change sounds good at first but unravels quickly if you think about it for more than a microsecond. The new system will see creators getting 95% of their pledges consistently, and the other 5% still goes to Patreon. Okay, sounds like a plus, but what happens to the fees, you ask? Well, that cost will now end up falling on patrons instead. Patreon has said that as of December 18th, they will begin charging a 2.9% fee + $0.35 USD per pledge. Not terrible for anyone who only supports one or two creators, but awful for those who support a lot of creators, especially for small amounts. For $1 pledges this is essentially a 37% surcharge, which is ridiculous when you consider there are lots of users who support >100 creators per month for $1 each.
My hope is that Patreon will roll this change back before it's implemented. The backlash from the community about this has been immediate and powerful. Almost nobody is happy with this except for higher earning creators who won't be too much worse off if they lose some of their smaller pledges. But for creators like me who are largely supported by $1-5 pledges? Who make up about 98% of Patreon's creative userbase? It's a potential nightmare waiting to happen and many are already starting to see that nightmare take shape, with $1 and $2 patrons deleting their pledges in droves.
And who can blame them when they're about to be price gouged like this? Needless to say, I completely understand if you need to delete or reduce your pledge as a result of these new fees. This is unfair and it shows that Patreon does not understand the needs of their users at all -- or worse, they do understand but simply don't care. You have my blessing to do whatever you need to do to stay within your monthly budget or support your principles. If you're leaving, thank you so much for the support you've given me up to now and I hope all goes well for you.
The worst part of all this is: I'm not ready to abandon ship yet. There are not many viable alternatives to Patreon out there yet (I hear lots of talk of people moving to Drip but I'm wary of doing that until I see more stability and rapid adoption for it), and for creators like me who cannot support their work in many other ways besides ad revenue? There is virtually nowhere else to go that offers the same solutions and ease of use. So... kinda not much else I can do if I want to keep my income afloat. Thanks, Patreon. :/
Again, I really hope that Patreon reverses this decision, but my hopes on that front are low given the response (and lack thereof) they've given to community feedback so far. For now I will stay on the site and continue to promote my campaign in my videos, but I will be transparent about the costs. My end bumpers will likely say something along the lines of "You can support me for as little as $1/month + Patreon's garbage fees that you shouldn't have to pay but thank you if you do anyway." :P And if anything changes regarding the crowdfunding platform I use, you guys will of course be the first to know.
Thank you all so much again for your understanding and support. Work on the next Mahou Profile is chugging along well now and editing is about 60% complete! So that's some good news at least. Hoping to get it out to you guys sometime in the next week, ideally the next few days if I can get out of bed for long enough at a time. x_x