Kickstarter vs. Patreon
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:
View the source of these graphics here.
What is Kickstarter good for?
– 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.
You can then set rewards that backers can choose from, should they decide to support your creative efforts.
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:
– 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.
– 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?