I’ve got some exciting news! Patreon has just secured an additional round of financing ($60M!), which means we will be scaling our team, building faster, and building more — all in service of getting you paid what you deserve to be paid, for the value you give the world. YESSS!
Right now, you and your patrons send us thousands of emails every month asking for features, functionality, and new products. I feel your pain, so hard. And so does every team member at Patreon. We so desperately want to build a world of awesome products for you — every bone in our bodies aches for it. And this new round of financing brings us closer than ever to that world.
So what does that world look like? How is Patreon’s product evolving? What can you expect as a creator on Patreon?
Instead of diving into specific features, I’d like to zoom way out and share our product vision. It will offer a holistic picture of what you can expect over the next 2–5 years. Here it is:
First and foremost, Patreon will power your membership business by giving you everything you need to acquire, manage, and reward your patrons.
And that’s two main categories of products:
1. Business Infrastructure Think of this as the back office — the tools, workflows, dashboards, and information that you need to get your business cranking.
Analytics for understanding your patrons, your rewards, and your income
Dashboards that summarize the performance of your membership business and give you clear and helpful suggestions
Rock solid and simple financials
Rewards management, automation, and delivery
Patron management (Who are my patrons? What are their Twitter handles? How much have they spent on me?)
2. Rewards to Energize Patrons This is everything you need to entice and keep your patrons, because offering and fulfilling on “rewards” or “benefits” should be seamless. We segment rewards into three main categories:
Creator-patron intimacy, like live interactions and patron-only polls
Ongoing exclusivity, like access to a patron-only Discord server or early-access to content
Actual goods, whether digital or physical, like a signed poster or an extra episode
Integrations coming: Many of the above experiences, ways you can access them, and special goods will be both on Patreon and on other platforms. We’ve already started integrating rewards with third party services so patrons feel special anywhere they go!
One quick note on all this ^ Patreon didn’t start with that framework or vision in mind. Nope! It started on the floor of my dad’s house. On the morning of May 7th, 2013, the day we launched, I had been awake for 48 hours straight, and I was eating leftover pizza for breakfast as the site went live: Where it all began (2013)
I had been making YouTube videos with my band, Pomplamoose, since 2007 and I was fed up with “rev share” programs that paid us a few hundred bucks for millions of views. How was that right?! How could that be good for creators? How could that be good for the world?! Was it just me? Did anyone else feel like they were being undervalued?
My co-founder, Sam Yam, had built Patreon by himself over the course of three months, and everything was ready for launch. I had been working on a video announcement to my fans about this new site — Patreon — and as Sam pushed the site live, I uploaded the video.
Within minutes, I had over a hundred patrons, and I was making over $700 bucks per month. Within MINUTES!
OG Patreon (2013)
Now, four years later, 50,000 of you are getting paid every month on Patreon, from over a million financially active patrons. This year alone, those patrons will send you over $150M (wow!). And there are dozens of you making over $30k per month!! Many creators are using Patreon to grow and scale their businesses, to hire teams, to expand their content operations:
Part of the Complexly Team (2016)
The Patreon team is 80 people strong, and our souls are FLYING to build you the products you need to get paid, make art, and run your businesses. In the world of the web, we are treading new ground. We are solving the toughest problems for creators. We are working like maniacs!
Maybe this sounds trite to say but, as a creator, I often felt like few people understood what I did. Not even my parents! Not my friends. And surely not tech platforms. Generally, I found that people didn’t really grok the impact I had on my audience. They didn’t understand the amount of work I had to do to make something worth watching. They didn’t understand the depth of care, complexity, or persistence that was required to be a full time, professional creator.
I want Patreon to be different. I want creators to feel understood by Patreon. I want all 80 folks who work here, and the many more to come, to feel your pain and to feel your joy. I want us to see your trouble, and I want us to grasp the intensity of your grit. This depth of understanding will take time and, while we may never truly arrive, I believe that the Patreon team has the charge and fire to get closer than anyone has before.
It’s still the best time ever, in the history of humans, to be a creator. Right now. SO GO MAKE AWESOME STUFF!
Thank you for believing in Patreon, for your continued trust in our vision, and for your creativity and grind.
There’s a great world coming for creators!