On the heels of widespread revolt, Patreon CEO Jack Conte said today that the company is reversing course on a change to its fee structure that the crowdfunding platform initially claimed would benefit creators — but which many users felt would result in the loss of smaller donors.
“We’ve heard you loud and clear,” Conte wrote in a blog post. “We’re not going to roll out the changes to our payments system that we announced last week. We still have to fix the problems that those changes addressed, but we’re going to fix them in a different way, and we’re going to work with you to come up with the specifics, as we should have done the first time around.”
While Patreon currently takes a 5% cut of every pledge (and creators are additionally responsible for processing fees from the likes of Paypal and Stripe), the company announced last week that it would instead take a 2.9% cut of every donation and institute a 35-cent processing fee per pledge that would come out of patrons’ pockets. Creators balked that this would disproportionately impact donors who contribute $1 or $2 per month to multiple creators, given that they would now have to pay an additional 35 cents on each pledge — a notion with which Conte ultimately concurred.
Conte apologized to any creators who lost patrons and income during the proposed restructuring. “Fundamentally, creators should own the business decisions with their customers, not Patreon. We overstepped our bounds and injected ourselves into that relationship, against our core belief as a business…We need to give you a more flexible product and platform to allow you to own the way you run your memberships.”
Conte said that he had spent countless hours on the phone with creators, and any concerned users can share their feedback right here as the company works toward a new solution. Conte is currently working on another blog post to highlight some of the problems with Patreon’s current payment structure, he said.
While Patreon users applauded the reversal, some still harbored frustration about the move:
Patreon is reversing their decision on the new fee structure. If you stopped supporting an artist to protest the new Patreon fees, now is a good time to repledge. (Or use a different method to support them!) Let’s not punish artists for Patreon’s blunders!
— Ron Chan (@RonDanChan) December 13, 2017
We spoke; we were heard; Patreon is not going to make the changes to their fee structure.
THANK THE GREAT PUMPKIN.
— Seanan McGuire (@seananmcguire) December 13, 2017
honestly great on patreon for allowing tons of people to lose a huge chunk of support before deciding they were sowwy
— Danika Harrod (@danikaharrod) December 13, 2017