Now would be a good time for a Patreon competitor

Patreon messed up their fees big time. The time for my competitor has come…

UPDATE: Patreon released a blog post where they apologized and won’t roll out the changes. It is very well written. Read it here.

Patreon, which used to be seen as one of the good guys of the internet recently changed it fee structure. It went… poorly to say the least.

Basically Patreon used to charge all the various pledges at the same time. So if you gave 10$ to 10 different artists, you would get charged 10$ once a month, and Patreon would take 5% and give the rest after processing fees to the artists.

Patreon decided for some reason to instead bill each pledge individually. So if you pledged on 10 different days, you would get your card billed on 10 different days. And they added a 35¢ + 2.9% processing fee, on top of their 5%.

Image for post
Image for post

This really makes it expensive for the 1$ pledges. Instead of paying 10$, you would pay 13.50. And none of that extra money would go to creators.

So here is my crazy idea for a Patreon competitor.

I call it…

BaconTribe

Here are the key features of BaconTribe.

Batch pledges

If someone pledges 10$ to 10 artists, we bill their card once at the beginning of each month. So the credit card fees are 10*.029 = 0.29

So you know, just do it like Patreon used to do it.

Help build audience

Patreon currently doesn’t help you build an audience. It only helps your current audience give you money easily. BaconTribe would help build your audience. We will send 1 monthly email with other cool artists you might not know about. Also it will suggest other cool artists. For example if you back Academy of Questions which makes science videos, it would also suggest Science Friday Videos. Sprinkle a bit of machine learning on that and you could quickly build a semi-robust suggestion engine. Also the whole focus would be on creating a community of artists and their supports. For example, look at the difference between Kickstarters homepage and Patreon.

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

Kickstarter has 5 projects above the fold. Patreon has none. Not a single one. Kickstarter tries to get you new backers. A little. Patreon doesn’t even try.

Artist and Fan Ownership

I love the idea of a company being owned by its users. A large portion of BaconTribe would be distributed to the artists and users. I don’t know how that would be done (don’t say blockchain or I will get nauseous 😉) but it would be cool to have users and artists get equity in the company. We would take regular polls to see what features they want etc.

What do you think? Will this blow over? Will Patreon get its mojo back? Will BaconTribe rise to be the Patreon competitor that we all need?

Written by

Code, design, cook. Make stuff. Cookies. @BYU grad.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store