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These top Patreon creators earn more than $200,000 a year

2020 has been hard on everyone, but it’s been especially tough on creators. Covid-19 has turned the entire creative industry on its head, from making us press pause on in-person events indefinitely to causing historic losses in ad revenue for YouTubers and podcasters.

But the challenges of 2020 didn’t stop hundreds of creators from thriving. Here are just a few examples of top earners who are killing it and making over $200,000 a year on Patreon

2,444 patrons

Tom Scharpling was ahead of the pack when he turned his long-running, weekly comedy show into a podcast in 2014. Fans love the show for its hilarious interviews with comedians and musicians, like Chris Gethard of the Beautiful Anonymous podcast, and James Murphy of the rock band, LCD Soundsystem. This podcast is laugh-out-loud funny, so unless you’re comfortable hee-hawing in front of strangers, be careful listening to it in public — you’ve been warned.

What they offer patrons:

The Best Show has five tiers that range from $1 to $50. Access to bonus audio content starts at $5 a month. Patrons looking to connect with Scharpling can subscribe to the $10 tier, where they can ask him questions in a monthly, on-air AMA.

Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVyGN6DOWCo&

2,453 patrons

Ever wonder what Monty Python would be like in the age of YouTube? LoadingReadyRun's surreal take on sketch comedy picks up where the British comedy troupe left off. The group also produces videos and podcasts about tabletop games like Magic the Gathering.

What they offer patrons:

LoadingReadyRun’s two tiers are priced at $5 and $10 a month. While they both unlock Discord access, $10 patrons receive a one-of-a-kind thank-you card in the mail.

Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlhW8nqZfuY&

2,584 Patrons

We’ve all met someone who knows every type of whiskey on the menu and won’t let you forget it. Whiskey Tribe isn’t for them. Daniel Whittington and Rex Williams’s whiskey-themed videos are informative without being snooty. The duo are also the founders of the Austin-based distillery, The Crowded Barrel Whiskey Company, which is why they can answer boozy questions with ease, like, does whiskey always get better with age, and is a $1,000 bottle better than one that costs $10?

What they offer patrons:

Whiskey Tribes’s membership has a nice mix of digital and physical rewards. Patrons of the $4 tier enjoy a weekly Q&A with the hosts, while patrons of the $7 tier get a Whiskey Tribe lapel pin. Patrons of the $20 tier get a shout-out in the end credits of one of their videos.

Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHJTr_1Cep4&feature=youtu.be

3,133 patrons

Over a million people follow Kirsty Partridge on YouTube for one reason: to become better artists. Her art tutorials make it possible to learn a wide variety of artistic mediums, from watercolors to colored pencils. Kirsty’s YouTube channel has hundreds of videos for amateurs and professionals alike, whether they’re looking to pass the time during shelter-in-place, or they’re hoping to take their artistic careers to the next level.

What they offer patrons:

For $5 a month, patrons obtain the artist’s library of 300+ art-instructional videos. Kirsty’s one-tier approach to membership is the perfect model for creators looking to connect with their audience without spending too much time on different rewards.

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3,628 patrons

The Flagrant Ones are experts at what goes down in the paint. What defines them, though, is their playful banter, which feels like a mixture of NSFW locker-room talk and astute basketball analysis. While listening to an episode of The Flagrant Ones, you’re as likely to hear in-depth breakdowns of data and stats as you are a fake interview with Kawhi Leonard. Since their podcast is for patrons only, the hosts can speak their minds freely without sponsors or networks calling foul.

What they offer patrons:

When prospective patrons visit The Flagrant Ones's Patreon, they’re met with three, straight forward tiers. Joining the $5 tier unlocks the podcast, while $10 patrons get access to monthly live-streams. The $25 tier is for die-hard patrons who want to give the hosts an alley-oop.

10. RKG

Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bU5zqtisdE&feature=youtu.be

3,728 patrons

RKG is all about thinking positively; after all, these are the guys who made “Prepare to Try” for IGN, a video series where three friends band together to beat the notoriously difficult video game, Dark Souls. Despite their fighting spirit, the trio were a little anxious when they left IGN to start their own YouTube gaming channel, RKG. Fortunately, their patrons made it an easy transition, giving the creators the resources they needed to create exciting new content, like “Games Are Good for You,” a series that explores the positive mental health benefits of video games.

What they offer patrons:

Patrons can join RKG’s $3 tier to stay up-to-date with photos and blog posts from the YouTubers. In addition to getting early access to new videos, those who join the $10 tier unlock an exclusive podcast, Shield Up.

Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eii3zIlkRYI&feature=youtu.be

5,010 patrons

The acapella group Home Free is proof that you don’t need instruments to play country music. In 2013, the quintet got their big break when they won The Sing-Off on NBC with their rendition of Florida Georgia Line’s chart-topper, “Cruise.” Today, their five-part harmonies are going viral thanks to patrons, who are funding the group’s music video production of originals and covers, like Kenny Roger’s country classic, “The Gambler.”

What they offer patrons:

Home Free has a whopping 12 membership options ranging from $1 to $1000 a month. We won’t go into all of them, but some high points include their $3 tier, which gives patrons access to the band’s MP3s. The $5 tier is also worth mentioning, unlocking karaoke versions of their music videos for patrons to sing along with.

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5,062 patrons

Since journalist Jesse Brown left the mainstream media to focus on podcasting, he’s turned his show, Canadaland, into an entire network with nine shows in its roster. Though podcast ad-revenue has been notoriously unstable during the pandemic, Canadaland continues to produce weekly, high-quality content because of the direct support of their fans and patrons.

What they offer patrons:

Canadaland’s lowest tier is full of value, giving patrons access to ad-free content and on-air shout-outs for $5 a month. Their higher tiers unlock a range of exclusive merch benefits. Bottle openers and t-shirts start at $12 a month, while tote bags are available at $15. If you’re considering using merch on Patreon, check out our Merch for Membership feature, which makes getting swag to your biggest fans easier than ever.

Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3dCBdXwU40&feature=youtu.be

5,271 patrons

In 2012, Hank Green started the YouTube channel, SciShow, with a simple premise: to make science videos that are fun and engaging. Since then, the team has gained millions of followers, and expanded the initial concept across multiple YouTube channels, giving the SciShow treatment to space, psychology, and kid’s content. Can wasp venom act as medicine? Why do we call orcas, Killer Whales? Because of the support of patrons, SciShow has the answers.

What they offer patrons:

With 10 tiers ranging from $2-$500, SciShow’s Patreon has something for everyone including access to a patron-only podcast and an exclusive, monthly live-stream with the SciShow team. And, while it may seem unrealistic to price a tier at $500, it’s a good idea to give your most devoted supporters the opportunity to support your content at a high-level.

Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnKKm5vh3pk&

7,443 patrons

The hosts of Bad Faith have some mighty left-wing credentials: Briahna Joy Gray was the National Press Secretary for Bernie SanderS and Virgil Texas is one of the founders of the popular progressive podcast, Chapo Trap House. Whether the hosts are hashing it out amongst themselves or bringing in guests like Killer Mike or Michael Moore, the podcast is a safe space for liberals to debate important issues.

What they offer patrons:

Bad Faith’s membership proves that you don’t need a ton of tiers to attract patrons. Those who subscribe to the $5 tier or the $10 receive the same reward: a weekly, patron-only episode of the Bad Faith podcast.

Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urJiX9uWEOs&feature=youtu.be

8,187 Patrons

In 2016, Defy Media shut down the video gaming/review website, GameTrailers, leaving nine talented staffers out of a job. They didn’t have time to wallow in their pain because they were too busy launching Easy Allies on Patreon. Since then, Easy Allies has become a regular in the gaming content space churning out weekly, high-quality video game reviews, podcasts, and live streams.

What they offer patrons:

Patrons of Easy Allies have 11 membership tiers to choose from. Highlights include access to Patreon exclusive content, like their podcast, Spoiler Mode, which starts at just $1. And, if their $5 patrons have a question for the gang, all they have to do is post it on their Patreon feed and it will be answered in an up-and-coming Easy Allies show.

Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAY4bRBTmnQ&

10,341 patrons

Hopefully, your twenty-sided dice isn’t gathering dust during the pandemic. The Glass Cannon podcast is a great way to get that tabletop RPG buzz, whether you’re remotely questing with your fellowship or not. Since 2016, fans around the world have been hanging on their every encounter as these five friends play through the D&D spin-off, Pathfinder.

What they offer patrons:

$5-a-month patrons reap plenty of rewards, including exclusive access to actual-play podcasts like “Raiders of the Lost Continent” and “Legacy of the Ancients.” Their $10 patrons receive physical rewards, like a Glass Cannon bottle cap, while $25 patrons get first dibs on new merch items.

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12,288 Patrons

If getting creeped out is your jam, then you most likely already listen to The Last Podcast on the Left. The show leaves no horror unexamined, from real-life terrors like eugenics in Nazi Germany to urban legends like the Slender Man. The hosts have a knack for mixing in-depth research with hilarious banter, bringing levity and insight to otherwise harrowing topics — who knew hiding under the covers could be so fun?

What they offer patrons:

Though Last Podcast on the Left is a Spotify exclusive, their Patreon is the destination for bonus content. Patrons gain access to extra interviews for $5 a month, while ad-free episodes and exclusive video content unlock at $10 a month.

Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDYFiq1l5Dg&

13,979 patrons

Anyone who’s watched Jeopardy with their friends knows that knowledge is power. If you’re having trouble yelling out the correct answer first, CGP Grey’s videos are for you. The YouTuber uses colorful animations and easy-to-understand language to explain complex topics across science, history, and mathematics. Understanding the Electoral College has never been this entertaining.

What they offer patrons:

CGP Grey has eight tiers that range from $1 to $100 a month. Discord access starts at $1, but to get a shout-out on the YouTuber’s website, or to ask him questions in a live Q&A, patrons have to join the 7$ or the $9 tier.

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36,929 patrons

The New York Times refers to the hit socialist podcast, Chapo Trap House, as “rowdy.” They’re not wrong: the hosts’ mixture of sarcasm, f-bombs, and in-depth political analysis is unmatched. By saying anything and everything that’s on their minds, Chapo Trap House gives listeners a space to push the boundaries of political commentary sans judgment.

What they offer patrons:

Patrons of Chapo Trap House receive the same reward whether they join their $4.70 or $5 tiers: access to the podcasters’ archive of premium episodes, featuring guests like the writer and social activist, Naomi Klein, and the comedian and actor, Tim Heidecker.


Ready to be a top earner on Patreon? Whatever you create, Patreon can help you grow your community and develop a sustainable, recurring income from the people who love your work most: your fans. Tap into the power of membership and launch on Patreon today.

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