Patreon Drops Service Fee, Apologizes To Users

Competition between content creator platforms is growing thicker daily and any misstep could be costly as platforms try their best to stand out. Patreon made an interesting decision to remove processing fees from a creator's monthly funds and incur it upon patrons, but some argued that this new model penalizes those that donate smaller amounts. Patreon has heard the critiques from the creators, scraped the new service fee model, and apologized to users.

Patreon broke the news today with a blog post featuring a headline that got straight to the point: We messed up. We’re sorry, and we’re not rolling out the fees change. The blog post points out these specific critiques that arose:

  • The new payments system disproportionately impacted $1 – $2 patrons. We have to build a better system for them.
  • Aggregation is highly-valued, and we underestimated that.
  • Fundamentally, creators should own the business decisions with their fans, not Patreon. We overstepped our bounds and injected ourselves into that relationship, against our core belief as a business.

The team wants to fix what they hoped to address with these new fees, but is looking to engage with their community more as they work to do so. This is something YouTube should learn from sooner rather than later as well. Though the service fees are scrapped for now, the introduction of this model still caused a ripple across the Patreon communities. Twitter user TheBreeMae asked what Patreon would be doing to help recoup the patrons that were lost when creators shared the news and Patreon responded that they "want to talk about it too."

With a new major competitor springing up in the form of Kickstarter's Drip, the teams behind Patreon can't drag their feet when such a significant change draws the ire of their community. Things look good so far, but let's hope the open communication and rapid responses continue.

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