Have you heard of Patreon?
Since getting back into tabletop gaming in the last few months, I’ve been watching a LOT of YouTube videos from various creators just to see what has been going on in the hobby and what is new.
I’ve seen a lot of Kickstarter projects over the last few years, even when I was away from the hobby, but I didn’t actually know about Patreon until just a few weeks ago.
So What Is Patreon?
Patreon is a website which allows YouTube content creators to gain financial support from their fans.
Essentially it’s like a tip jar but a lot more automated so that the content creators can gauge the support they’re getting from their audience more consistently.
It’s easier to explain it with an example, so here is one example of a content producer that I am now supporting through Patreon.
If you haven’t heard of them, Painting Buddha is a content producer who creates high-quality painting tutorial videos for tabletop miniatures.
In the past they’ve tried to make an income selling painting DVDs, but I don’t think that model was producing the results they were hoping for which is why they’re now trying out the Patreon system.
So how it works is that they setup a Patreon campaign, and ask people to sponsor their videos with a patronage of anywhere from $1 to any amount you want.
As you can see from the image above, as of this evening they have gathered 352 patrons who are supporting them with $1,538.62 per video that they produce.
I’m one of those patrons as I really like the high-quality caliber of their videos.
So Is Patreon a Paid Subscription Service for YouTube Videos?
Well, not really.
Patreon is not really a subscription service for videos, where you pay to see content, because the actual videos are still uploaded and available on YouTube for free for everyone to watch.
So anyone who can’t afford to “sponsor” a Patreon campaign producer can still watch their content on YouTube for free…
… so really all Patreon does is it allows FANS of the content producers to support their favorite content producers with a monthly or per-video “tip” if you’d like to call it that.
By supporting your favorite channels, for as little as $1 per day, if enough people get together and help out, the content producers can focus more time on creating more awesome content, instead of having to do some other job to put food on the table.
So as an example, if 5,000 people support a content producer at $2/month each, that means that content producer would have a $10,000/month budget to do nothing but produce more awesome content for those 5,000 people.
Personally I think this is an AWESOME model because it means that talented people in our industry will have MORE TIME to focus on doing what they’re awesome at, and passionate about, instead of slaving away at some stupid job that they hate, just to pay rent, and then TRY to produce some content in their spare time.
It becomes a win-win all around because the content producers get to do what they love, and we as patrons supporting them get access to awesome content of a high caliber which wouldn’t necessarily be produced otherwise.
Who I’ve Decided to Sponsor So Far
So far I’ve decided to pledge / sponsor three channels.
I’ve decided to sponsor these channels because I like their content, and I’m a big believer in “what goes around, comes around”…
… and perhaps one day when my YouTube channel content gets to a high enough level of caliber I might decide to launch my own Patreon campaign as well.
What Do You Think of Patreon?
What do you think of Patreon?
Do you think it’s a good way for people in our industry to gain the support of the community to be able to produce high-quality content full time?
Have you supported any Patreon channels so far? If so, which ones?
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