A change to Patreon’s fee structure that it claims will benefit users has many of the platform’s creators up in arms about potentially losing smaller donors.
Currently, the crowdfunding platform pockets a 5% fee from every pledge — and creators also incur varying processing fees charged by payment outfits like Paypal and Stripe. But on Dec. 18, the company will instead take a 2.9% cut and charge patrons a flat 35-cent processing fee per pledge. Patreon says that the changes will help creators take home more money — to the tune of 95% of each pledge, Techcrunch reports.
However, several creators balked at this notion. They complained that making donors responsible for the processing fee might dissuade patrons who tend to pledge small amounts to multiple creators, such as $1. That’s because patrons who donate to multiple creators will now incur a 35-cent charge on every pledge. Furthermore, Patreon said that it wouldn’t give creators the option to subsume the new processing fees on behalf of their patrons.
Rooster Teeth co-founder Burnie Burns reacted to the changes thusly yesterday:
Yet another reminder that if you aren’t building your business on your own platform, you are just spending your time and resources building someone else’s business for them. https://t.co/VsXE4mXbOe
— Burnie Burns (@burnie) December 7, 2017
On its help page, Patreon explains that, “We standardized our fees because it helps creators by giving them more clarity and security regarding their earnings. Currently, creators can lose anywhere from 7-15% of their earnings to fees…often [they] take home a lower percentage of their Patreon income than patrons may realize.”
The cartoonist Jeph Jacques, one of several creators who opposed the restructuring, shared a response he received from the company on Twitter. Patreon said it didn’t make the changes lightly and that it was aware that some patrons might be upset, but that it ultimately believed that it was “the best decision for the long-term success of creators and their communities.” The company encouraged Jacques to educate his fans in order to navigate the changing tides.
See Patreon’s response to Jacques in full below:
— Inceltic Frost (@jephjacques) December 7, 2017