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Kickstarter vs. Patreon

Published by Salvador Briggman. Find him on Twitter.

Patreon has only recently been on my radar, after having learned about it from a KickstarterForum member and reading Gigaom’s analysis of this young website. I’ve included three graphs from the Gigaom article below:

patreon datapatreon

patreon breakdown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

View the source of these graphics here.

 

What is Kickstarter good for?

Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform for creative projects. For a creator to have their project included on the website, he or she must follow the platform’s guidelines. In brief, these include:

– The project must fit into one of Kickstarter’s categories.

– The project must have a definitive end date (usually 30-60 days) and be for a specific sum.

– The website does not accept “fund my life” or “charity” crowdfunding campaigns. For a list of platforms that do accept these types of campaigns, click here.

This means that if you are an artist, a game developer, or a creative type, you can use Kickstarter to raise money for a creative project and, if you meet your fundraising goal, you will receive the funds in one lump sum.

Depending on the project category, backers usually come from: your personal network (family/friends), your professional network (audience, past customers), Kickstarter itself, and external sources (blog articles, social media promotion, and marketing/PR efforts).

What is Patreon?

Patreon is a new platform that “enables fans to support and engage with the artists and creators they love. Empowering a new generation of creators, Patreon is bringing patronage back to the 21st century.” Check out the explanatory video below:

Unlike traditional crowdfunding platforms, which help creators raise money in one lump sum, Patreon is for creators who create a stream of smaller works.

What does this mean?

Basically, as a creator, you can create a profile on Patreon and set funding goals.

patreon goal

You can then set rewards that backers can choose from, should they decide to support your creative efforts.

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 3.13.39 PM

Finally, you can promote your Patreon page or browse the website and become a patron of other creators or follow other creators. One feature I really like is that you can “interact with your top fans on your activity feed where both patrons and creators can post photos, videos, comments, etc.” I’ve included a full list of benefits below:

For creators

– Recurring funding to work on what you love.

– Interacting with your top fans on your activity feed where both patrons and creators can post photos, videos, comments, etc.

– Giving back to your patrons with rewards.

– Growing your patron base with social tools.

For patrons

– The warm fuzzy feeling that accompanies believing in someone enough to become a patron.

– Being part of a community with your favorite creators from across the web on activity feeds including photos, videos, comments, Christopher Walken impersonations, etc.

– Timely updates from creators as they are creating the things you love. Get the goods first!

– Rewards from your favorite creators: This could be anything from pre-sell concert tickets, downloads, personal gifts, hangouts, or anything else they can offer as a way to thank you for your patronage.

What is Patreon good for?

I think Patreon could emerge as a powerful tool for creators including: youtubers, writers, podcasters, and bloggers.

This website is another tool that you, as a creator, can use to reach your 1,000 true fan threshold, or the number of fans needed to go full-time on your creative profession.

I wouldn’t recommend this website if you are set on creating an end product that requires large time and financial investment (design/hardware/game). I think Kickstarter and other crowdfunding websites would better suit this need.

However, if you create products on a semi-regular basis (blog posts, youtube videos), have a small following, and would like to engage with your fans beyond social media, I think Patreon could be worth checking out!

Closing thoughts and a question for you.

I’m exited to watch the growth of this new website. I’m curious as to how it will differ from Flattr and whether or not it will lead to better audience engagement for creators.

I still believe that traditional project crowdfunding (Kickstarter, Indiegogo) is the best type of fundraising at the moment for creators embarking on large projects, but I can see how Patreon could attract more of a nice audience. What do you think?


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  • Ody

    Crowdscriptions, which is the term I like to use for crowdfunded subscriptions, are very valuable to independent authors, artists, musicians and other folks who regularly create content. What’s great is that, with most projects, if the work doesn’t get published, you don’t pay. This prevents a lot of scams from happening.

    • CrowdCrux

      “What’s great is that, with most projects, if the work doesn’t get published, you don’t pay.” – Good point. I imagine it puts more pressure on the creators to deliver, which can hurt the creative process, but also holds them accountable. Personally, I like that creators just have more ways to involve and interact with their audience .

    • Peter Hollens

      amen

  • seal of the gods

    Wow great article. Hopefully they can grow seems they have a great platform that much more engaging than some other crowdfunding platforms

    • CrowdCrux

      Yea, I like their platform too!

  • So this is no campaign, hemmm, good idea

    • CrowdCrux

      Huh?

  • I’ve noticed more and more web comics using this platform.

    A lot of these artists would like to be working on their strips more often, but cannot for financial reasons. I’ve yet to hear if any of them have been able to cut back on freelance work or even quit their day jobs because their strips bring in enough thru Patreon to allow them to spend more time on their strip, but it will be interesting to see if it can happen.

    • CrowdCrux

      Yea – more of a newer model. I like the type of community and tools the guys at Patreon are building. Will look more into the effects their website has on creators’ lifestyles in a future post.

      • Peter Hollens

        Let me know if I can help in anyway. I so believe in this platform and everything they are doing. It has allowed my family to really create more and focus on what’s important. CREATING CONTENT! 🙂

        • CrowdCrux

          That’s awesome! Congrats!

  • Bill

    This is an introduction to the platform for me, but is is of great interest to me. I will keep an on on the progress of this platform. Thanks for sharing it with the group.

    • CrowdCrux

      Definitely. I will also be following them!

  • Peter Hollens

    Absolutely have loved following kickstarter the past few years, I have supported dozens of projects and always thought of starting my own, only to stumble upon Patreon a few months ago and fall completely in love with the platform. The team is insightful and at your beacon call, and the split 95/5 is better than most sites trying to do the same thing like Flattr (90/10) and to be honest I would rather do a huge push and create something for a lifetime than a one time model. I care too much about my huge supporters to ask for a big fee and leave them with only one project or album. — It’s all about changing the world, and allowing creators to follow their dreams and inspirations and Patreon allows this to happen.

    No matter what you do, write, sing, act, draw, ANYTHING. Patreon should be your home. I’ve found mine: http://www.patreon.com/peterhollens — It’s changing my life, not having to worry about the mortgage, or about appeasing Millions of fans, I really only need to worry about the 600+ that support me and my work. It’s freeing. It’s amazing. Give it a try. As a creator, or a supporter. I think you won’t be sorry you did.

  • Mr.Sixes

    I am a patron of a Youtube “artist”, He’s being very transparent and very awesome guy with apprication post and things of the sort.

    • CrowdCrux

      Cool – must be a great feeling that you are helping him out and allowing him to produce awesome content.

  • I think Kickstarter was great in the beginning but I feel lately people just use it as a store or worse they take the money and run. Patreon to me is the best way to go if your an independent artist needing a helping hand. I’ve started mine and I set the reward level at .01 cent because I want everyone to participate. I feel money shouldn’t be a barrier to entry. https://www.patreon.com/cargonzalez

    • CrowdCrux

      I agree with you that it’s become much more commercialized. I still love it though, but I do like Patreon, particular how it helps you build up a fanbase over time that is willing to chip in a little.

  • Danger Zhang

    As someone who runs a non-profit blog and has struggling artist friend, this sounds pretty awesome and a great way to match supply and demand for this kind of thing. good post!

    • CrowdCrux

      Can you link me to your blog? Thanks!

  • Elie Morge

    Can i use bot? patreon and kickstarter?

  • Cassidy Bergeron

    I am an artist that uses Patreon, and it’s a struggle so far. I have one patron, and I’m trying my hardest to get more so that I can build a fanbase and get the support for my art and writing that I need to thrive. Check out my page at patreon.com/casswonderland

    • CrowdCrux

      Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Rhuantavan

    I’m definitely with patreon. I’m running a development diary on my RPG, Call of Saregnar.

    http://patreon.com/rhuantavan