The promise of Patreon, the membership platform for impartial artists and creators, has at all times been easy: If your followers like your work, they’ll pay you for it. No have to slough off money from advertisers, or make shady offers with manufacturers. It’s simply you, your followers, and the stuff you make for them.
Patreon has slowly launched new methods for creators to take advantage of probably the most out of those fan relationships. They can provide subscribers (referred to as “patrons”) a peek into their lives behind-the-scenes with Patreon Lens, a Snapchat dupe particularly for creators. They can host reside Q&As with followers on Discord, the voice-and-text chat app. Now, Patreon has one other trick up its sleeve: It’s saying an integration with Reddit, aimed toward bringing creators nearer than ever to the fan networks that help them.
Many of Patreon’s 100,000 creators and a couple of million patrons have already got a presence on Reddit. Fans have made subreddits to debate episodes of the German speak present Kurzgesagt, which depends on funds from followers, or the Patreon-supported podcast Chapo Trap House. The new partnership makes these fan enclaves official, including a particular aptitude to indicate paying patrons and including a widget to ask followers to present cash.
“It seemed like a very natural partnership,” says Alex Riccomini, Reddit’s director of enterprise improvement and media partnerships. “We are the community specialists. They are the creator specialists.”
By teaming up with Reddit, Patreon hopes it could convert extra Redditors into patrons, serving to them uncover, connect with, and financially help creators on the platform. It additionally hopes to construct up the communities that encompass these creators, inviting followers to attach to one another and providing a direct line of communication to artists. For these outdoors of the creator area, the brand new integration could appear solely r/mildlyinteresting. But for creators, it may very well be one more reason to withstand becoming a member of the bigger platforms, like Facebook and YouTube, and to stay throughout the creator ecosystem that Patreon hopes to reinvent.
Pay Your Dues
When the combination rolls out later this month, creators with current communities on Reddit can point out that they’ve a Patreon, then add a widget within the sidebar of their neighborhood. “That allows them to capture users who may not know they have a Patreon account, so they can start donating,” says Lei Gong, the product supervisor at Reddit in control of the Patreon integration. Redditors who’ve contributed to a creator’s Patreon will see aptitude—a brief little bit of textual content that claims “patron”—present up subsequent to their username.
The aptitude makes it potential to see at a look which threads or feedback come from paying supporters. Later on, these may probably point out ranges of membership or the size of time somebody has been a patron—data that Patreon already makes out there to its creators.
Reddit has begun beta testing the brand new options with a handful of creators, beginning with Amanda Palmer, punk artist and lead singer of the Dresden Dolls. In the approaching weeks, testing will roll out to different Patreon creators, like Zach Weinersmith, who makes the favored net comedian Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal; Destin Wilson Sandlin, the engineer-turned-YouTube star behind Smarter Every Day; the YouTubers behind Cow Chop; and CGP Grey, the podcaster who created Hello Internet. Each of those creators already had subreddits; now, with extra hands-on participation from the creators, they hope to see these communities develop.
“It opens up the opportunity for these fans to actually provide feedback directly to that creator,” says Riccomini.
The integration hasn’t been good. Some of Patreon’s creators break up their content material between so many alternative platforms—posting movies to YouTube and podcasts to Soundcloud—that managing a neighborhood on Reddit feels overwhelming. And a lot of Patreon’s followers and creators are model new to Reddit, which comes with a infamous studying curve. A couple of of Amanda Palmer’s followers have complained in r/amandapalmer concerning the upvote system, which privileges posts and feedback based mostly on neighborhood votes, whereas others have raised questions on Reddit’s distinctive terminology (“flair,” “subreddit,” “OP”).
A couple of days in the past, one Amanda Palmer fan wrote a publish providing an additional ticket for Palmer’s live performance in Tuscon. Besides the ticket, the Redditor stated they’d “love to meet up with anyone attending, especially if you’re also traveling alone.” No one replied.
But there have additionally been optimistic outcomes—together with interactions which have hardly ever occurred on different platforms, together with the rickety net boards that beforehand existed for Amanda Palmer followers. A couple of days into the beta take a look at, Palmer posted to the subreddit: “i haven’t had 80 minutes to myself in the three days since the album got mastered to sneak away and approve it. and i gotta approve it before it heads off into the land of Being A Real Record and getting turned into vinyl and all that. who’s here?” The remark thread developed right into a dialogue about perfectionism and track creation. One fan even described an abusive relationship, and Palmer responded to commiserate. It’s the form of one-on-one interplay that may really feel unusual between web celebrities and their supporters.
“In a lot of cases, [the fans] function as a broader tribe that the creator can lean on,” says Brent Horowitz, Patron’s VP of enterprise and company improvement. “When we think about that dynamic, we always want to encourage that at Patreon.”
As Patreon competes with platforms like YouTube and Facebook, every of which launched extra creator-focused instruments and subscription fashions earlier this yr, its partnerships will grow to be more and more essential. Patreon won’t have the dimensions of YouTube, or the flexibility to supply its creators income from advert streams. But it could supply one thing else: selection.
“A creator should be able to choose where they post their content, where they engage with their community, and how they engage with their community,” says Horowitz.
Earlier this yr, Patreon partnered with Discord to make it straightforward for creators to attach with followers immediately. It’s made offers with Vimeo, Snapchat, and different platforms to ease the burden on artists when posting content material; Patreon has additionally acquired membership firms, like Memberful and Subbable, which additionally cater to creators of varied sizes. Reddit—which brings with it 138,000 energetic communities and 330 million energetic customers—matches squarely into Patreon’s partnership technique.
“Communities are a key aspect of the creator’s life,” says Horowitz. “So this is an important sign of things to come—not just areas around community, but other toolsets and platforms.”