Reclaim the Net: Patreon deplatforms censored video archive altCensored for “hate speech”. “altCensored, a platform that archives videos that have been censored or limited by YouTube, has been booted by the fan-funding platform Patreon for ‘hate speech.’ The platform has received around 500,000 unique monthly visitors over the last year, according to estimates based on web analytics company SimilarWeb and altCensored’s server logs.” Platforms like altCensored do important work. YouTube content removal often leads to unintended consequences like removing evidence of war crimes.
The Verge: Patreon’s CEO is launching a $50,000 annual grant for creators. “Patreon CEO and co-founder Jack Conte touts his crowdfunding platform (as Patreon describes it, ‘membership’ platform) as a place where ‘creators get paid’ instead of being subject to the whims of advertisers or recommendation algorithms. Today, Conte is announcing a much more individual attempt to fund creators that’s not formally related to Patreon but fits squarely into its vision for how artists work today.”
Variety: Patreon May Start Providing Loans to Creators, Among Other New Services. “Patreon, the subscription-based fan platform, is eyeing a range of new services to support creators — including potentially providing loans at some point, CEO Jack Conte said. Conte, speaking at Variety’s Entertainment & Technology Summit in L.A., said Patreon is considering ways to provide capital funding and other financial services to artists, as well as services like health insurance and HR support.”
TechCrunch: Patreon’s new fees are surprisingly low . “Patreon announced today that it was creating multiple pricing tiers for its membership service, with varying levels of features offered depending on price. The company will now offer a ‘Lite’ offering that charges a 5% commission, a ‘Pro’ offering at 8%, and a ‘Premium’ option at 12%, with discounted rates for existing founders.”
TechCrunch: Facebook wants up to 30% of fan subscriptions vs Patreon’s 5%. “Facebook will drive a hard bargain with influencers and artists judging by the terms of service for the social network’s Patreon-like Fan Subscriptions feature that lets people pay a monthly fee for access to a creator’s exclusive content. The policy document attained by TechCrunch shows Facebook plans to take up to a 30 percent cut of subscription revenue minus fees, compared to 5 percent by Patreon, 30 percent by YouTube, which covers fees and 50 percent by Twitch.” OF COURSE IT DOES.
The Verge: Facebook is rolling out Patreon-style subscriptions for a small group of creators. “Facebook is investing in its creator community in an attempt to get them to make content for the social network. The company announced multiple new creator features today, including the ability for fans to support creators with monthly payments. Fans will receive exclusive content as a reward, as well as a new badge that shows their support. Top fans can also display the badge based on how often they comment, share, react, or watch a creator’s content, but they have to opt-in to this experience.” The timing of this is… not great.
Washington Post: Facing a rebellion of furious creators, Patreon backs away from a new fee. “Creators, and by extension, their fans, tend to have an uneasy relationship with the companies on which their businesses depend. And for good reason: A slight tweak to a YouTube algorithm or advertising policy can have a dramatic impact on the income of someone’s channel. They might sympathize with fans who turn on the platform, but they still need those fans to stick with them to make money. The thing is, Patreon has benefited in the past from a reputation as one of the relatively good guys among those companies.” Patreon did something else earlier this year that made me uneasy, so the fee change isn’t the only thing that’s been bothering me about them. I’m looking into other options; keep an eye out for an article early next week.
MIT Technology Review: Patreon Introduces Tools to Let Anyone with a Website Put Up a Paywall. “Fans can now sign up on an artist’s website to make recurring contributions, and creators can restrict content pages to be available to paying supporters only. This is effectively allowing easy paywall implementation on any WordPress site. Other plug-ins will allow for direct support of artists through MailChimp-powered newsletters, Patreon exclusive Discord voice and chat servers, and Patreon-only live-streaming through Crowdcast.”
Mashable: Patreon wants to grow up with a new look, big-name artists, and its own Snapchat ripoff. “Patreon has fed a hotbed of homemade art and bootstrap media. Now it’s looking to get more professional. The crowdfunding platform launched a sleek brand overhaul and a host of new creator tools on Wednesday in a bid to cast itself as a serious business builder for scrappy bedroom artists and established entertainers alike.”