Meta: Patreon has rolled back plans to change fee structure

Hello MOP readerbase! As you are likely aware, Massively OP’s funding is a hybrid, coming both from advertising and from reader donations, most of the latter through Patreon. Last week, Patreon announced changes to its fee structure that had us all scrambling, as it would have affected sites and donors like ours and moved transaction fees from us to you in a way that would’ve made it hard to justify small monthly donations, which are the majority of our contributions and those for other indie creators on the platform. We alerted our backers on Patreon about the proposed changes last week and were as concerned as you about the future of the platform and whether it was in our and your best interests to stay on it.

I am relieved to report today that Patreon heard the public outcry over the changes and announced today that it will not be implementing those changes.

“The new payments system disproportionately impacted $1 – $2 patrons,” the Patreon blog admitted in its apology. “We have to build a better system for them. Aggregation is highly-valued, and we underestimated that. Fundamentally, creators should own the business decisions with their fans, not Patreon. We overstepped our bounds and injected ourselves into that relationship, against our core belief as a business.”

Consequently, MOP won’t have to panic-move to a new donor system. However, those of you who still want to avoid Patreon can still do so by just cutting out the middle-man and donating directly through PayPal (we grant all the same awards to those who already go this route). Patreon is probably more convenient for both you and us, however, and gives you a chance to support multiple creators, not just MOP!

“We are nothing without you, and we know that,” Patreon said. And we feel the same about you. So Patrons, old and new? Thank you for standing by us.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Code of Conduct | Edit Your Profile | Commenting FAQ | Badge Reclamation | Badge Key

31
LEAVE A COMMENT

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
shazanti
Reader
Loyal Patron
Kickstarter Donor
shazanti

I’m so glad Patreon wised up on this. I back a few different creators (including MOP, of course!), and I had canceled my pledges on a couple of them, and was wary about continuing my pledges with others. Those I canceled with had really taken umbrage to Patreon’s changes and had pretty much said ‘everybody get out, we’ll meet up someplace else’, but thanks to the canceled Patreon changes I’ll be re-pledging with them now. Those that I hadn’t canceled on I’d had my fingers crossed that something else would happen, whether it be PayPal or the other possible/upcoming sides (Drip? Gumroad?), and had debated switching to PayPal here. Glad I don’t have to, I really liked Patreon for keeping everything regular and orderly.

I hope Patreon can figure out how to smooth over the wobbles they’re having. It’s a great idea and has been helpful for me, as I can’t afford big irregular payment chunks but I can easily toss a few bucks regularly, and I can only hope those regular few bucks help the creators I pledge to.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Cervator

Self-inflicted wounds seem to still be all the rage these days. Glad they changed course. Ugh on having to go through and resub 30-40 times … :p

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Loyal Patron
Jack Pipsam

Dope, that’s great news!

Reader
Chosenxeno .

I see they took Jim’s threats seriously. No one wants beef with Jim Sterling, SON!

camren_rooke
Reader
camren_rooke

Thank Gawd for him!

Reader
Utakata

For a pigtail moment there I thought I was going to see future of MOP articles locked behind a paywall, unless the reader Patreons up EA style. I can rest assure that’s not going to be the case now. /phew

Thank you for working this all out, Ms. Bree ‘n Company. /bows

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
mistressbrazen

Glad this was rolled back. I think Patreon did not really understand the impact of $1 or $2 here and there for the creators. During the dust up last week Patreon’s statements implied the small donors weren’t very valuable. This was another very good example of how the people who develop technological change don’t always understand how their users benefit from it. How difficult would it have been for them to survey their creator community first BEFORE announcing the change?

Reader
John Mynard

Surveying their users/creators prior to making a boneheaded change like this would imply they actually give a damn.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
kgptzac

I still have to question the validity and sanity of Pateron claiming they underestimate the $1 and $2 donations. To me, it’s about them write “fuck you” on their faces and brace for a hard slap session from their customers.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
camelotcrusade

In a very long post talking about the issue, one of the creators I support said that, being local, he actually went to Patreon to discuss what the hell they were thinking. Nobody, including Patreon, excused what happened, but what did emerge were some of the problems they’re trying to fix. Patreon was in the process of updating their old payment back-end so they thought it would be a good time to correct problems like:

1. Inconsistent revenue for creators. Patreon is supposed to be something creators can rely on, but in practice it’s a lot more wobbly. A big problem is that false pledges on fake cards add up without a charge up-front model (which is still in beta), so scamming your access can be done.
2. Avoiding perceived double-charges. It’s quite common for someone to initially pledge towards the end of the month, and then when they get charged again on the first day of the next month, they feel like they’ve been “double-charged.” Patreon says they get buried in these emails and it’s a needless drain on support.
3. Switching to an “anniversary” system, where you get charged 1 month after signup… but avoiding the problem that if you signed up for a lot of creators on different days, you could feel nickle-and-dimed by Patreon every couple days.

Anyway, their upgrades set the stage for back-end changes needed (in their view) to address some of the above issues (like getting up-front payment out of beta and implementing an anniversary system). At the same time thought they’d “put the creators first” by helping with the costs (issue 1) but it wasn’t until this hamfisted change that they heard creators yelling back they put their patrons first and they don’t want that to change.

Now, I can’t answer any questions about any of this, I’m just summarizing what I read (and I hope it’s accurate, I did my best). I did hear some new suggestions have since come out, such as using a subscription model where you agree to have all your charges hit on a day you specify.

NB: If you have thoughts or feedback that you want Patreon to hear, be sure to share it with a creator or with Patreon directly. I just lurk here, guys.

luxundae
Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
luxundae

Excellent news on the Patreon front!

And looking forward to the State of the Site. 1 Million Kickin’ Chimaerok Chops Served!

deekay_plus
Reader
Patreon Donor
deekay_plus

they recently stopped allowing porn on the site which previously they had been courting independent porn models and producers to use them.

seems they are on shaky ground financially as they’ve got massive loans but their revenue growth is stalled and just a fraction of their loan size.

bodes ill for their future i think. but then again i’ve been waiting for soundcloud to shut down any month now since summer and that’s still online so…

Reader
Sally Bowls

The downside is all the cancellations and whether they will come back.

The upside is that Patreon going away *or being diminished) is not inconceivable so all the recipients can begin their planning for a post-Patreon world now instead of when it is urgent.

deekay_plus
Reader
Patreon Donor
deekay_plus

ye that’s what we did with soundcloud when things were looking dark. moved all our songs to hearthis.at which more or less more equitable to producers.