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Patreon’s New Features: Tools to Run Your Membership Business

You are an artist.

You are a business.

With Patreon, those sentences are no longer mutually-exclusive, and this is how excited our team is about that:

If you’re a creator (podcaster, YouTuber, musician, etc.) with an engaged following, I have news for you:

People want to become your patron.

How do I know that, you ask?

Well, in four short years of business, there are over 1 million paying patrons.

That’s one million people who love something so much, they turn their paychecks into patronage… for you. They’re paying individual creators subscription payments every month, just so they can be one step closer to the work they love most.

Other monetization models distance the creator from their fans, and often compromise the creative output. But patrons want your work as it is; they want the napkin-scratched drawings, the behind the scenes looks, the sneak peeks.

Patrons want to be a part of your process, and we believe membership is the best way to do it.

We’re excited to be building the best membership platform for artists and their biggest fans. And because we’ve recently celebrated our 4th birthday (gifts still welcome), we decided it was time to introduce a new refreshed look — from new colors (adios, orange) to a brand new logo and wordmark (download it all here):


Today, on behalf of our entire team at Patreon, I’m here to talk about the new products and features that lay the foundation to power our reimagined membership vision.

Tools to Run Your Business

Thousands of creators are already making meaningful income, empowering huge teams, and growing their creative businesses with Patreon’s current membership tools:

Payment Infrastructure: On Patreon, patron-to-creator payments are fully taken care of, so you can focus on making great stuff and we can do the rest. We handle all charges, billing, fraud-detection, chargebacks, and every other payment-related hurdle you can think of.

Reward tier management: easily set up and offer rewards for different subscription amounts and deliver content to different membership levels at any time.

Support: Super smart (and super nice) support team waiting with bated breath to help all creators and patrons, including a robust creator education guide and a lifetime supply of in-depth resources to guide you on your way.

Business analytics: our data scientists collect analytics about your patrons, pledges, retention, churn, and more — then turn them into PMFCs (pretty MFin’ charts) to help you nurture and grow your business.

Being able to offer these tools is equal parts awesome and motivating: awesome, because they’ve allowed creators to run businesses already, but motivating because we know how much more we want to provide. 

Now, for what’s new.

Patron Relationship Manager (PRM):

Patrons aren’t just a paycheck. Creators on Patreon view their patrons as their biggest support — yes, financially, but also in their work. Kinda Funny calls their fanbase, “best friends,” and I believe them when they say it.

Our research shows that creators want the ability to learn about their patrons on an individual basis. They want to know their patron anniversaries, how long they’ve been a patron, or how they found out about them. They want to know which patrons to contact for upcoming live shows, or what size to order for merch.

Today, we introduce the PRM — Patron Relationship Manager. The new PRM will be the source of truth for every patron. The complete redesign from the previous tool gives creators confidence that we are setting out to make all new products as simple, yet comprehensive as possible.

The version of PRM that you can access today (above) is just the beginning. As we continue to lean on creators for feedback, we’ll keep iterating and adding areas for complete customization, like robust filtering and custom fields, like shirt size or patron-specific notes.

Redesigned creator navigation:

This one goes out to anyone who’d rather do anything than play hide-and-seek with website features. In order to fix that, we’ve looked at the most-used parts of Patreon and completely redesigned our creator-facing navigation.

Our left-sided navigation toolbar surfaces the most important features needed to access and manage your business. It’s also always there for you when you need it (like us!), but tucks away when you’re done.

New Features to Easily Connect With Your Fans

Connecting with your patrons (read: your biggest fans) is art in itself, and we’re in the business of making it easy. I’ll quickly run through the features creators are already using on Patreon to deepen their relationships with their patrons:

Posts: Distribute your content publicly, or share exclusively with all patrons or only specific tiers.

Messaging: Send direct or group messages to your patrons.

Community Feed: Watch patron-to-patron communication happening live in the community feed.

Polls: Cut through the noise and get input from the fans who matter most through patron-only polling.

And now, for what’s new.

Lens: a brand new mobile experience

Hero: lens-comments-and-exclusive-access

Lens (beta) makes it easy for Patreon creators to share photos and videos exclusively with their patrons. We built Lens, Patreon’s new photo/video app, to address a huge creator need: a way to easily reward patrons by bringing them behind-the-scenes, into the day-to-day process. There’s no need to make private streams on other social platforms.

With Lens, creators can show their patrons things other fans don’t see, like photos of your creative process, or behind-the-scenes looks at the things they’re already making (videos, music, comics, anything). Within seconds, creators can capture a seemingly-simple moment and deliver it to the fans who want it most. Behind the scenes content has always been something that’s natural for Patreon creators, but now it’s easier than ever to deliver.

How do I get Lens? Lens is currently in an invite-only beta. But don’t worry, when it’s available to you, we’ll lens you know…yikes.

Automated Early Access:

early access

When we surveyed creators about the feature they want most on Patreon, an overwhelming amount chose Early Access… so naturally, we built it. Our new Early Access feature makes it easier than ever for creators to reward their patrons with no extra content — they simply take the great stuff they’re already making and allow patrons to see it early before other fans.

The best thing about Early Access? It’s lucrative. Our research shows that offering Early Access to patrons is super correlated with high earnings and low patron churn.

How do I get Early Access? Early Access is currently rolling out to all creators on Patreon. When it’s available to you, we’ll send a carrier pigeon (in-product notification).

Premium Livestreaming, Powered by Crowdcast:

live streaming

Let’s cut to the chase here: How has nobody nailed livestreaming yet? They never work how you want them to, and yet, patron-only livestreams are still one of the most highly-requested features.

We wanted a partner that creators could count on, so we called in the big guns. Crowdcast, a premium livestreaming platform, makes it easy to host secure, reliable, patron-only livestreams. This integration sets the foundation for regular, intimate livestreams that deliver infinite value to your patrons (while doing most of the work for you).

Many creators already recommend Crowdcast as their go-to livestreaming partner. As a premium service, it has countless features that noticeably level-up the webcast experience: live polls, upvote-able Q&A, screen sharing, and the ability to invite co-hosts or patrons onscreen.

How do I get started with Crowdcast? Crowdcast is in invite-only beta, but will be headed to a screen near you in no time.

What’s next for Patreon?

A lot, actually, so we’re heads down and laser-focused on delivering these new features, with countless more around the corner.

We hope you love Patreon’s new look, feel, and features. And, if you haven’t checked it out already, prepare to get pumped when you read our big vision for the future of membership. We couldn’t be more excited about the road ahead.

To see the new look in action and experience these features first-hand: take me to Patreon.

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