If Patreon closed down: addition by subtraction

We'd be better off with no Patreon in today's marketplace. The problem that Jack Conte founded Patreon to solve was the frustration of not being able to monetize YouTube, a frustration that 11 years later doesn't exist along the same lines.

A younger Jack today wouldn't will Patreon into existence, not only because the ad revenue would be there for him on YouTube but because internet payments are ubiquitous: Stripe is here, PayPal's still here, and beyond. I didn't choose Patreon to launch my subscription product. Why would I shell out 12-15% in fees to Patreon when I have only a few subscribers (all in my country) and I can use Stripe with my website hosting service?

Even the big YouTubers and podcasters, who want a convenient service and make up the head of Patreon's long tail, have better options now. YouTubers have channel memberships directly on the platform, a pipe dream in Conte's youth. Podcasters have subscription tools made specifically for podcasts.

So even if Patreon was bootstrapped, it seeks a reason to exist in 2024. And yet it has raised nearly half a billion dollars.

I wrote about local Patreon creators two years ago for Subscriber Fridays at Rhythm Changes. At the time, I wrote:

"In the music category alone, Patreon moves more than CAD 1.25 million a month in earnings, to over 15,000 users who have at least one patron.

However, the category isn't growing; it boomed in 2020 but has been flat since the start of 2021."

Those numbers are now CAD 1.1875 million and almost 16,000 creators; the money pot is smaller and the pool of creators looking for a slice is larger. Stay away, you won't have a wave to ride on this platform. An alternative path where it went bust would stimulate the creator-membership world, addition by subtraction of a now-redundant player.

Also, I like Conte's music and would welcome him doing more of it relative to the desk work.

For more, YouTuber Tom Nicholas tells an engaging story about Patreon's history.

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