What is Patreon?
Hi, everyone. Leo Notenboom here for askleo.com. So, you may have seen some postings on my own Facebook page and elsewhere talking about a site called Patreon.com. And of course, the question is “What the heck is it”?
Patreon is essentially crowd funding. Crowd funding in a way that lets people support arts, entertainment, and including technical sites that they feel an affinity towards, that they have expressed interest in supporting. Patreon.com was actually started by one of the founders of the music group Pomplamoose.
He decided that it was an interesting way for people to be able to support his work in creating new music and music videos for that band. It’s since taken off, but that’s fundamentally the model. It’s the old “patronage” model from decades, if not centuries ago, where you have individuals who provide financial support for somebody creating something.
Creating music is the most obvious example, but there are also examples of individuals creating comics, or in many cases, there are Patreon pages for individuals who are performing, I’ll say, advocacy work or entertainment or education. My friend Randy Cassingham is now doing it with This Is True. Another friend Tara Calishain is doing it with her very valuable service, Research Buzz.
These are ways for them to be able to focus on creating content without having to worry as much about paying the bills. Because, ultimately, it’s been for true musicians for years, for centuries, and it’s certainly true for content creators today that creating content is wonderful and important and valuable to the world, but it doesn’t always pay the bills and that’s where Patreon comes in.
The model typically has two really interesting approaches to encouraging people to contribute a certain amount. There’s the monthly approach where individuals pledge a certain dollar amount per month to the creator that they want to support. There’s also a per creation model.
For example, Pomplamoose is a good example of this; their model was that you would contribute a certain amount of money per video that they created. You could cap it so if they went nuts and created a bunch of videos in one month, you wouldn’t necessarily be charged for all of them, but it basically encourages them, it’s an incentive for them to actually create content, because each time they do, they would get paid for it.
Now, in addition to that, many creators have set up what they call reward levels. So for example, if you contribute $1 either per month or per creation, you get this kind of a reward directly from the creator. If you contribute a higher amount that they define, you get a bigger reward. If you contribute at a higher reward than that, you get an even bigger reward, and rewards can be anything from just ongoing thank you’d to being listed on a Patron’s page to early access to, for example, music videos, to an opportunity to have your name placed on the credits in a music video to any number of other things all the way up to live videos and even site visits at some extremely high levels of contribution.
So that’s basically what the rewards system is all about. There’s also a goal system. Now, the goal system is a little different. The rewards system applies to each individual: you pledge “x” number of dollars and you get this kind of reward for doing so. The goal approach allows creators to say, “When I reach a certain amount of total pledged dollars for my creations, I’ll do something.”
The Celtic Music Podcast is one good example. When he reaches a certain amount in total pledges, then he puts on an extra long themed episode. So there are a number of different ways that creators can create goals and incentives and rewards for people to pledge their support, but it really does boil down to a great way for individuals to pledge their support to the creators of content that they believe in.
And yes, Ask Leo! is embarking on a Patreon campaign. I do have a Patreon page set up: patreon.com/askleo. I just released it earlier this week. I’m still trying to figure out some of the nuts and bolts and so forth on there. But you’ll see, if you take a look at the right-hand side of that Patreon page, there’s a list of rewards that I’ve defined from $2/month all the way up to $10,000/month if you want to, that will get you various things depending on your level of pledge.
These are things that hopefully like with other creators are actual valuable rewards. Things that people would find valuable in exchange for their pledge. I encourage you, of course, to have a look at patreon.com/askleo, but in the global sense, Patreon.com is really just a crowdfunding site; a way for you to show your support with your dollars to those sites that are creating content or changing the world in ways that they wouldn’t be able to do without some kind of support.
So, as always, here’s a link to this article on askleo.com: askleo.com/23461/ Come out; leave a comment; let me know what you think about the concept of crowd funding, Patreon itself, Ask Leo’s Patreon page, some of my other friends’. Have a look. Let me know what you think. I’d love to hear your feedback. Maybe you’ve got some ideas for additional rewards that could be offered. I think I threw out some valuable ones but maybe I didn’t think of everything and let me know. I will see you again next week. Thanks again for watching and of course, remember, have fun, stay safe and don’t forget to back up.
Hey, if you found this video valuable, I could use your support. Visit patreon.com/askleo and pledge a couple of bucks of month or more depending on what kind of reward you’d like. Yep, there’s rewards associate with it and what it will allow me to do is to focus on creating more valuable content like the video you just saw. Regardless of whether you do or not, thanks again for watching. I’m Leo Notenboom for askleo.com.