What went down with Patreon

So not that we have to fill people in too much on this, but Patreon’s new fee structure caused quite a stir. We think this is a good time that we start to unwrap something that we’ve had hidden on FriskyPaw’s secret Trello board – how we wanted to improve artist support.

Artist support and where we feel it fails on Patreon

Patreon has been (for the most part) a positive platform for many creators. In the furry community that has mainly been artists. However one thing we’ve always felt it fall flat on was distributing funds more effectively. We typically had to pitch sometimes as much as $5-10+ to an artist we liked, minimums were also $1, this leads to very few very popular artists to bring in a decent amount of money, with the rest fighting for the scraps left over.

With Patreon’s fee changes, this problem is compunded even more.

A little bit about what we wanted to do

So a few things that we noticed about Patreon:

  • Pledges were individual, meaning fees were compounded
  • (Real) microtransactions are not a thing.
  • People seemed to support fewer artists than they’d like.

What we’d like to do is:

  • Take a pledge amount once a month (or maybe annually?), fees would only apply for this transaction.
  • We can divvy this up, even to fractions of a dollar between the artists you want to support.
  • Even use our algorithms to distribute to artists that you commonly consume their content.

Known Weaknesses

Our system isn’t perfect either, and it’s in the baby stages, we do have to still consider:

  • Gaming the system, we don’t want artists that make a lot of low-quality work to pull in more than artists that put a lot of time and effort info fewer pieces.
  • How do we want to do per-delivered item pledges?
  • We’re mostly postulating on the whole new distribution structure being more efficient to bring in more money for artists, it’s kind of a gamble.

About fees….

So the sad truth about Patreon is that their $0.35 + 2.9% is actually pretty much the industry standard, if we spun this up today this is what we would be charged to run credit cards. While we’ve pretty much budgeted a lot of FriskyPaws.net’s costs as “coming out of our pocket for the forseeable future”, this is one cost we cannot take on our own. We will have to pass this fee on.

Also some day we’d like to bring in some money into FriskyPaws, we’d like to get artists to do some work for us more often (again, that is coming out of our pockets for now), and we’d like to be able to dedicate more time to this and less time to our jobs so, so we may not keep our fees at cost forever, but this is highly dependent on other opportunities and ideas and feedback from the community.

What we need from you

Some feedback!

We’re making some major guesses on stuff here that are based off some really rough numbers and points from Patreon. So we need to hear from you:

  • Does this even sound interesting?
  • How often are you making a lot of $1-2 pledges on Patreon?
  • How much monthly would you put towards a list of artists that you really want to support?
  • How long is that list?
  • Any other feedback?