Patreon declares itself a crowdfunding platform for creators, as its platform allows creators to draw a steady, continuous income from The Crowd. Patreon’s approach to rewards-based crowdfunding is unique, setting it apart from the likes of Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Whereas the latter two, encourage backers to support creators with one-time pledges in exchange for rewards, Patreon’s model asks backers to subscribe to patrons. Patrons are the content creators or creatives. This funding model makes Patreon particularly well-suited to creators of videos/vloggers, bloggers, online journalists, writers, and musicians.
Founded in 2013, in San Francisco, by musician Jack Conte and Sam Yam a developer. Patreon was formed due to a problem faced by Conte. Conte’s portfolio of music videos was getting a million views per month. Despite this, Conte was only making $50/month through ad revenue on YouTube. As a result, he started Patreon with the intent to give artists a sorely needed means of monetizing their work. Describing the reasoning behind his company, Conte said the following in a 2013 article:
I’m releasing new things on a monthly basis. I have friends releasing material weekly,” Conte said. “They’d have to almost invent an excuse to raise money after going on Kickstarter once. We’re saying, ‘No, no. Don’t make up a new endeavor. Keep doing what you do best and let people pay you each time you do that.
When you create an account, you’re asked to self-classify your work into one of the following categories:
- Video & Film
- Drawing & Painting
- Crafts & DIY
- Dance & Theater
Qualifying for Patreon
Patreon is a crowdfunding site aimed at a particular audience: artists and online personalities in the business of content creation.