Start Full-time Filmmaking with Patreon!

Patreon is an Internet-based membership platform that provides business tools for creators to run a subscription content service, as well as ways for artists to build relationships and provide exclusive experiences to their subscribers, or “patrons.” I believe this particular platform was meant especially for artists. If you haven’t checked it out then you’re making a huge mistake. It is popular among YouTube videographers, webcomic artists, writers, podcasters, musicians, and other categories of creators who post regularly online. It allows artists to receive funding directly from their fans, or patrons, on a recurring basis or per work of art.

The platform is powerful and it’s helping Youtubers and Filmmakers find their way to full-time creating FAST. Try to digest through some of the following numbers:

In a year, Patreon has doubled the number of monthly active paying patrons to 1 million, and the number of active creators to 50,000. It’s now on track to pay out $150 million to creators in 2017, which would make its 5 percent cut equal $7.5 million in revenue. That’s after paying out $100 million total since 2014.

Youtube the Best Platform for Monetization?

If you’re a filmmaker considering Youtube as a platform to monetize based on Adsense, you might want to consider keeping an open mind about other alternatives. The math is simple really. In order to make good money (at least 6 figures a year) on YouTube and turn it into a career fast is actually not through Adsense. Adsense pays a low wage per thousand views of an ad and video. Tim Schmoyer explains the concept of alternatives for creators and making video creation into a career in a way most can understand. He has a YouTube channel called Video Creators and I highly recommend it.

Patreon as a Youtube alternative

If you have a product, there are ways to make money by selling to a relatively small audience. If you don’t have a product or anything to sell through your channel or art, then consider starting a Patreon subscription option for your fans and followers. On Patreon, contributors frequently cough up $5 per month to each of their favorite creators, who make 50X to 10,000X more per fan than on ads. In exchange, creators offer the art they’ve made that month, reserving premium access and rewards to those who pay more. Thirty-five creators made more than $150,000 in 2016, and thousands earn more than $25,000 a year.

“By connecting directly with their fans, creators on Patreon are establishing a stable, ongoing source of revenue and gaining the peace of mind — and creative freedom — to build their careers as creators,” writes Patreon’s Maura Church.

That’s it! I want you to understand that free distribution through the web disintermediates artists and fans, opening the door for niche, polarizing creators that could never be distributed through mainstream mass-media channels like Hollywood film, television, radio or newspapers. Payment and business software lets creators operate independently without the need for an overarching production studio, record label or publisher. As physical media subsides and digital media becomes increasingly free, passionate fans are seeking ways to prove their love for artists and support their work. Have you tried Patreon yet? I’d love to know how I can support some of your work. Let me know in the comments below!