Patreon is a crowd-based, recurring funding site to support and pay content creators.
Funding Change 2017
On 2017-12-07, Patreon proposed updating their fee structure so that site users would pay a transaction fee in addition to their pledge amount. This transaction fee consists of a 2.9% handling charge, together with a flat $0.35 service charge. While previously all transaction fees were 'silently' taken on the backend, so that (for users in the USA) a $1 pledge resulted in a charge of $1, the new structure meant a $1 pledge would cost this user (called a 'patron' in site nomenclature) $1.38. For European users the new structure would mean that a $1 pledge results in a charge of approximately $1.70, meaning that creators receive a mere 55% of the total payment at the $1 pledge level.
A further proposed change to the funding model was that while pre-December 2017 all of a patron's pledges were collected on the first of the month, the new structure meant that all payments would be collected on the monthly anniversary of the original pledge. This meant that (for example) if a user had pledged $1 to forty different creators, Patreon would collect $15 in service charges alone.
As a consequence, Patreon creators reported a significant number of their 'patrons' cancelling their pledges.
Following considerable outcry against these proposals, Patreon abandoned the proposed new fees structure on 2017-12-13. The site's CEO, Jack Conte, acknowledged the many criticisms, however the announcement of the reversal stated that "We still have to fix the problems that those changes addressed" while pledging to work with 'creators' to create a new funding model to do so.
- 2017-12-07 : We’re Updating Patreon’s Fee Structure. Here’s Why. (archived)
- Criticism 2017-12-07 : And Now: A Bummer
- 2017-12-07 : Metafilter DIcussion, providing many links.
- 2017-12-13 : We messed up. We’re sorry, and we’re not rolling out the fees change.
Its Going Down
On 2017-07-28, Patreon took down the account for It's Going Down (IGD), allegedly based on pressure from the Alt-Right. IGD was not given their money for the month of July or any way to contact/export their list of patrons.
- 2017-07-31 : Patreon Caves to Tim Pool and the Alt-Right, Bans IGD (archived)