New Patreon Plans Coming in May

From Patreon:

We’re announcing new creator plans, which will be available later this spring. Current creators on Patreon will see no change to the fees they pay or the features they have, unless they are interested in some of the new stuff we’re launching!

Patreon has grown, and our community of creators has grown with us. We now serve so many different types of creators, from a painter with 100 fans to a creative business with 100k fans and a staff of 25. This allows us to tailor our offerings to different types of creators. We’re also introducing new payment processing rates for future creators, including a new low rate for payments of $3 or less.

These changes will help us invest in the features and services all our creators depend on, and create a strong and independent Patreon that creators can build their businesses on for decades to come.

From FAQ:

Why the New Plans?

The new plans better serve new creators by offering options, including more powerful tools for those that are ready for them. And they allow us to develop new features like Team Accounts and Merch for creators who really want them. We want to be around serving creators for decades to come. These changes set us on a solid path toward that goal, and will fuel investments in core product quality to improve the experience for all creators. Learn more about the plans.

The Plans

Patreon Lite

This plan is for future creators who want a simple option to launch a membership without tiers and benefits that they can get up and running within minutes. This plan has no tiers; just a creator page with a ‘Become a Patron” button that allows patrons to enter any amount they wish.

Patreon Pro

This plan includes everything Patreon creators have today plus some new perks! It’s for creators who want more tools to build and grow a thriving membership. All creators on Patreon before the plans launch automatically get this plan at their current pricing.

Patreon Premium

This plan is for established creative businesses with a large following who need advanced features and a higher level of service. Premium will have limited availability at launch. If you’re interested in Premium, you can sign up to be notified when it launches.

Patreon is also offering a new feature for Pro plans called "Creator-led Workshops."

What are Creator-led workshops?

Creator-led workshops are livestreamed workshops taught by creators who are successful both on and off Patreon. We’re introducing creator-led workshops because we’ve heard from creators that they want to learn from other creators in their respective fields, i.e. musicians want to learn from other successful musicians, podcasters want to learn from other successful podcasters, etc. Creator-led workshops will cover topics like how creators are making Patreon work as part of their creative career, as well as other topics specific to the creator’s field. As we build out the program, we’ll be taking requests from Patreon creators to find out more about which topics you’re most interested in.

Are Creator-led workshops different than the Patreon workshops?

Yes. Patreon workshops are available to all creators on Patreon regardless of the plan they choose. They are taught by Patreon staff and focus on Patreon specific topics like optimizing your tiers and benefits and how to market your membership.

Who are the creators teaching creator-led workshops?

We are currently building our roster of creator teachers.

The other new feature for Pro plans is "Priority Customer Support"

Customer support emails from creators in the Professional plan and above will be prioritized, with a minimum first response time of 6 business hours.

Patreon also had their CEO Jack Conte explain in a video the new plans, which you can watch here.

As I mentioned in a previous article about Patreon changing their fees back in late 2017, Patreon has addressed that in their FAQ section of the page.

How is this different from the fee changes Patreon made in Dec 2017?

In December 2017, Patreon made some changes to the way we charge for payment processing, and within a week of the rollout, reversed the changes after hearing feedback from creators. There are 2 big lessons we took away from this event:

1) We got in between creators and their patrons. Our plan in 2017 was to move payment processing fees so they would be paid by patrons instead of creators, and creators were frustrated by the decision. Moving forward, the right way to build a sustainable Patreon is to charge creators, not their patrons.

2) The fee change we proposed overly penalized low dollar pledges. The new payment processing rates we’re announcing for future creators will be transparent and predictable for creators as well as providing savings on small pledges. And current creators on the platform will see no change.

Payment Processing

With these new plans from Patreon comes new payment processing for new creators. This is the breakdown of them.

Founding creators: no change. You will keep the same processing rate you have today. Learn more. Future creators: There will be two payment processing rates

For pledges of $1 to $3: 5% plus 10 cents per successful pledge

For pledges over $3: 2.9% plus 30 cents per successful pledge

For all pledges from patrons outside the US who use PayPal, regardless of the amount: An additional 1% per successful pledge

There is also a table breaking this down comparing what each of these new plans get which you can see here.

My Thoughts

There is a lot to unpack here and Patreon seems to be restructuring their platform to offload the smaller creators with smaller memberships so that the team can focus on the creators that are creating more revenue for the company. From a business perspective this doesn't seem nefarious or anything that would raise eyebrows. That said, we are talking about creators income and potential livelihood. Therefore, I will be watching one of there many livestream sessions they are offering. You can also sign up for them as well. They have many in different times available from March 19th through March 22nd.

After I attend to the session tomorrow morning I will be providing more information and thoughts on this new chapter in Patreon.

Jeff Perry @JeffPerry