Patreon is a revolutionary platform that allows people to support their favorite content creators. But what makes Patreon so popular?
Patreon is popular because it allows fans to support their favorite creators. It gives subscribers access to bonus content and allows for greater interaction between content creators and subscribers. Patreon is favored by individual creators who regularly post online like YouTubers and podcasters.
Read on to find out how Patreon works, who uses It, and what some of the most popular channels are.
How Does Patreon Work?
Patreon is a web and app-based platform that allows creators (YouTubers, podcasters, etc.) to create pages that their fans can subscribe to. Creators can customize pages with different subscription tiers and offer Patreon-exclusive content. For example, I subscribe to a creator group called Nextlander on Patreon. They offer a $5, $10, $25, and $100 per month subscription, with different benefits and bonus content included in every tier. Subscriptions are billed monthly, giving people an easy way to support their favorite creators and creators and a way to establish a steadier income.
Want to learn more? Check out this video on how Patreon works…
5 Reasons Patreon Is So Popular
Let’s take a closer look at the main reasons why people like using Patreon.
1. It Allows Fans To Support Creators
The first reason Patreon is so popular is that it allows subscribers to directly support creators and their content. Patreon’s platform makes directly supporting your favorite creatives easy.
One of the biggest challenges that online creatives face is how to monetize their content so they can make a consistent living. Creatives often rely on ads on YouTube and personal pages to create revenue and support their work. Ad revenue is tied to video or page views and can be an unreliable way to monetize content. Patreon’s monthly subscriber model gives creators a more stable income that isn’t tied to a platform like YouTube.
The stability it offers has drawn all kinds of creators to Patreon and gives creatives the ability to create what they want without having to constantly chase views and page engagement.
2. Bonus Content
Bonus content is offered exclusively to members of a creator’s Patreon. It is popular with creators because it incentivizes people to pay for a subscription and subscribers love it because it gives them access to more content from their favorite creators. Patreon bonus content can take many forms, here are some of the most popular:
- Hangouts and live chats.
- Additional content- Bonus podcast episodes or videos.
- Question and answer sessions.
- Behind-the-scenes content.
- Physical merchandise.
- Community access, be that on Patreon or another platform like Discord.
- Fan Recognition- Shoutouts at the end of podcasts or videos
3. Fan Interaction
Another reason people love Patreon is that it gives creators the chance to interact with their biggest fans directly and develop a sense of community in their fandom. Creators can create dedicated community pages where they can interact with subscribers and subscribers can interact with each other. Usually, only the biggest fans of creators are willing to join their Patreon, which helps to remove the toxicity that is often found on more open platforms like Youtube.
Patreon is excellent at easily getting people who want to support creators through the process without issue. Subscribing to a creator is easy and can usually be done in these simple steps:
- Click on the creator’s Patreon link, normally found in their bio on Instagram or the about section on their Youtube page.
- You will be directed to their Patreon page automatically, which shows the different subscription tiers and what those tiers offer in benefits and bonus content.
- Once you have selected a tier, you will be asked to input payment information if you are new to Patreon or to confirm your subscription if you already have an account with payment info set up.
- Once you confirm your subscription, you are automatically billed at a set date every month and will immediately have access to all the content from your subscription tier.
The process is streamlined, easy to understand, and can usually be completed in under five minutes. Creators love it because it converts fans to paying subscribers quickly and easily. Fans love it because allows them to support their favorite creators without having to jump through too many hoops.
5. Content Versatility
Patreon allows its creators to post a large variety of content to one page, allowing them to create a single destination for all of their work. Platforms like Youtube and Apple Podcast are created and optimized for a single type of content, whereas Patreon allows creators who work in multiple mediums to collect all their content in one place.
Moving back to our Nextlander example, they can host multiple podcasts, video shows, and text posts all on one feed. Normally, this content would have to spread over multiple podcast feeds on Spotify and Apple Music, Youtube, and their website. Centralizing their content stops them from splitting their fanbase and helps them grow their business steadily.
What Kind Of People Use Patreon?
As mentioned above, Patreon is popular with creatives who regularly post online and are looking for ways to monetize their content. The most common types of creators found on Patreon are listed below:
- Game Developers
Most of these creators are fully independent and the income stability they get from Patreon allows them the freedom to stay that way.
Why Do So Many YouTubers Have Patreon?
Video creators make up the highest percentage of creators on Patreon, about 25% as of November 2021. Most of these video creators are Youtubers. As we have discussed before, most YouTube creators monetize their videos with ads. While hosting ads in their videos can be very lucrative, it is also very dependent on views. YouTube uses a group of AI called the YouTube algorithm to suggest videos to users. The YouTube algorithm is known to be very particular in how it promotes videos, forcing creators to make videos that fit the algorithm. While it may fit the algorithm, it may not be the content they want to make or that their most dedicated fans expect from them.
By having a Patreon, they can provide themselves with a steady income. Having a steady income gives them the freedom to make the videos they want, instead of constantly chasing the whims of the almighty YouTube algorithm and the ad money that comes with it.
Why Do So Many Podcasters Have Patreon?
Podcasters make up the second largest group of creators on Patreon at about 8% as of November 2021. Podcasters are another group that previously relied almost exclusively on ads to make money. Similar to Youtubers, Patreon gives them a more reliable income to depend on to support their shows.
Patreon also gives podcasters the option to use RSS links. Using RSS links, subscribers can offer their paid Patreon content on most other major podcast apps, giving their subscribers flexibility in where they listen to their ad-free or bonus podcasts. This flexibility is very important because while Patreon allows users to access content easily on their app, many regular podcast listeners prefer having all of their podcasts in the same feed on applications like Anchor FM.
What Are The Most Popular Patreon Channels?
Here are some of the most popular Patreon channels, ranked by number of Patrons as of August 2022 with a short description of each:
- True Crime Obsessed – A comedy true crime podcast that recaps popular true crime documentaries. Hosted by Patrick Hinds and Gillian Pensavalle. 46, 845 Patrons
- The Tim Dillon Show– A comedy podcast focused on American culture and politics. The show is hosted by Tim Dillion and his producer Ben Avery. 40, 891 Patrons.
- Maintenance Phase- A wellness and weight loss podcast. Focused on debunking “science” that backs up most weight loss fads. Hosted by Michael Hobbes and Aubrey Gordon.
- Chapo Trap House– A leftist American political podcast often associated with the “Dirtbag Left” style of leftist politics. Hosted by Will Menaker, Matt Chistmaker, Felix Biederman, Amber Frost, and Chris Wade. 36, 019 Patrons.
- DankPods– A technology/comedy YouTuber from Australia. Videos are mostly about him doing funny things with his iPod or headphones. 34,959 Patrons.
- Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast- A comedy podcast that purports to be the “funniest podcast out there” hosted by comedians Matt McCusker and Shane Gillis. 34, 252 Patrons
Patreon is an app that affords more independence to creators and brings them closer to their fans. It is one of the most well-known and widely-used services of its kind and is used by more than 220,000 creators worldwide. Its service’s design and ease of use make it one of the best choices for independent creators looking to monetize their content. Fans love it because of the bonus content and intimate access it gives them to their favorite creators. Patreon will continue to play a key role in giving independent creators the resources and stability they need to create their best work.