Almost every creative activity can be turned into online content and monetized by content creators. Due to state-of-the-art technologies, people can make up various content by using specific digital tools offered on different platforms. In this way, they can express themselves, enhance specific skills, and even get paid for their efforts. Today, many crowdfunding platforms allow content creators, including video makers and artists, to monetize their community of supporters. Patreon is one of the most popular monetization platforms on the market for video-makers to build their businesses.
Some creators find it suitable to fulfill their objectives. The others prefer Patreon alternatives to succeed and advance their marketing potential. So, let’s look into the opportunities Patreon brings to the table for its consumers.
Patreon was created by Sam Yam and Jack Conte, a YouTube musician, in 2013 to support their creative projects: music, video, podcasts, etc. It currently includes over 221,000 creators with at least one patron and estimates monthly payouts of approximately $26,000,000 in 2022. So what’s Patreon? It is a digital membership platform where creators can monetize their member base by offering valuable content to patrons – members who become content supporters. Patreon became a helpful business platform for creative individuals where they can accomplish their potential, reach a target audience and make a profit from donations their loyal supporters make.
The financial plan of a creator typically involves charging for the content they provide monthly or for a particular project. This allows them to build their business in a flexible model. For patrons, it is an excellent site with a series of videos on different themes from the best experts to get some insights or brush up on their professional skills.
Patreon pricing plans
Once creators start a membership on Patreon, they will be offered three basic plans. Depending on their marketing objectives and willingness to reach the audience, a creator can choose the Lite, Pro, or Premium plans. They charge a certain percentage of creators’ monthly income from their patrons’ payments, respectively, 5%, 8%, and 12%.
Each plan uncovers helpful tools for video creators to manage a Patreon page and interact with their patrons. The Lite plan is preferable for novice members of the creator’s community to get into the platform’s capabilities and set up recurring support from their followers.
The Pro plan reveals more avenues in membership tiers, additional promo tools, analytics, and other features to strengthen creators’ presence on the platform and enhance their relations with an appropriate audience willing to pay for the content offered.
By choosing the Premium plan, a creator will receive a partner manager who will coach them and provide versatile support to succeed in the creative business. Creators will receive premium features to save time and reward their patrons.
Pros and cons of using Patreon
Like any other digital product, Patreon has its pros and cons. Some advantages for video creators have already been mentioned earlier and are outlined below:
- A flexible model of doing business regularly;
- Three membership plans to choose from;
- Favorable conditions to manage direct interaction with supporters;
- A transparent system of fees charged from a creator’s monthly income.
But there are other less desirable Patreon features that creators should take into account:
- A limited number of rewards new creators get in the first months of subscription on the platform;
- The lack of a search option on a creator’s feed page;
- No one-off donation;
- The lack of marketing tools for creators to promote their content;
- Additional fees for creators for transferring their funds.
Specifically, the last point relates to a creator’s option to receive their income. This process involves transferring their earned money to a bank card or PayPal/ Payoneer account. In this case, a service used as a payment method charges fees depending on the number of funds taken off a Patreon balance. They are the following:
- 1% of the amount transferred is charged by using PayPal;
- Payoneer typically takes $1 fee for each transaction, but it might vary according to the country and currency;
- When carrying out a direct transfer to a bank card, it charges a $0.25 fee per payout for US creators.
As soon as you tailor your brand, establish a solid member base of loyal supporters, and are willing to develop your own website/channel and build a better monetization system, Patreon might bring some obstacles and limit your business growth. That is why it is worth looking for alternatives to Patreon to excel in a creative business and consolidate the monetization of your content.
11 best Patreon alternatives to monetize your audience
Since Patreon was launched and even earlier, many other similar sites on monetizing audiences have appeared on the market. As a result, more opportunities and significant tools became available to every creator to turn their hobbies and creativity into a real paid-out business. In recent years, this kind of earning has become in demand that involves plenty of talented people and specialists to benefit from various platforms that have become Patreon competitors.
When Patreon doesn’t meet your goal of making money on your creative content, you can benefit from other good options. Here, we have outlined the best ten alternatives to Patreon you can select in order to raise funds for your creative endeavor.
VlogBox is a global monetization platform offering many benefits to video creators. Considering the importance of attracting as many supporters as possible, VlogBox can help content makers create their own channel on popular connected TV (CTV) platforms like Apple TV, Roku, Android TV, and Amazon Fire. Why CTV? This is a fast-growing industry that appeals to more users every year. According to eMarketer, in 2021, the number of CTV users in the US was 59.2 million among millennials and was expected to rise to 60.5 million by the end of 2022. The amount of connected TV users among Gen Z’s is also significantly increasing and is projected to hit 56.1 million by 2025.
VlogBox offers the development of a unique app. A creator can reach new audiences and monetize their content with exclusive subscription video on demand (SVOD) and advertising video on demand (AVOD) monetization models. Each model discloses a range of opportunities to make money on video. With the SVOD app, content owners can gain a solid income via monthly subscriptions of their supporters. While the AVOD app allows to make the content free for followers and monetize it via inserted ads.
When leaning on VlogBox, a creator will need to focus only on creating content. We will accomplish the rest to bring the customer’s plan to success: developing a channel, testing and certifying the app, ensuring that it’s successfully added to the store, and providing further support.
Memberful is a plugin used to install on a creator’s website and monetize their content through fans’ subscriptions. This Patreon alternative supports valuable integration features like Google Analytics, ConvertKit, Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor, Tapfiliate, Discourse, Discord, bbPress, and others.
- An opportunity to acquire new members using discounts, coupons, free trials;
- Integration with a range of services;
- An opportunity to create private podcasts;
- Easy membership management.
- High transaction fee.
Memberful offers three pricing plans: Starter, Pro, and Premium. The first plan involves a free membership, but it will take a 10% cut of the creator’s income. Pro charges a fee of up to 4.9% with a monthly membership cost of $25. Premium takes off the same fee from an income as in Pro, but the monthly membership cost is $100. This plan allows creators to remove a Memberful badge and white-label their Memberful domain.
This alternative to Patreon works better for large media companies as it helps them keep more precise control over their marketing and advertising campaigns through a website.
- Buy Me a Coffee
Buy Me a Coffee is a pretty similar platform to Patreon that doesn’t require supporters to sign up to make donations. This alternative is for those creators who prefer simplicity along the way in connecting with their followers. Over 400,000 creators are benefiting from Buy Me a Coffee.
- Can be used for selling memberships (monthly/ yearly) and digital products;
- Allows regular and one-off donations;
- No platform sign-up is required;
- Accept payments via credit card, Apple Pay and Google Pay;
- Competitive transaction fee – 5%, charged from a creator for every donation they are receiving.
Buy Me a Coffee is considered a good option for those artists and creators who want to start a free creative business in a simple way.
Gumroad is one more alternative to Patreon that, previously, was developed for creative individuals to sell their videos. Today, it also allows them to sell physical products, online courses, podcasts, and memberships.
By selecting Gumroad to monetize your audience, you will get the following benefits:
- An opportunity to upload any file, including videos in up to 1080p quality;
- The comment section for buyers to leave their reviews;
- An opportunity to offer discounts on products;
- Easy integration options with digital tools like ConvertKit, YouTube Annotations, Drip, and Zapier;
- No monthly fees, the creator is charged only when making a sale.
The pricing model in Gumroad is built so that creators pay less commission when earning more. This system involves charging a percentage of creators’ incomes instead of cutting down a fee for a monthly membership. So its system of income fees looks like this:
- $0 – 9%;
- $1.000 – 7%;
- $10.000 – 5%;
- $100.000 – 3%;
- $1.000.000 – 2.9%.
The advantage of using Gumroad lies in its intuitive features to build direct communication with an audience and encourage others to join the community. But when withdrawing the earnings from the platform’s balance, creators should keep in mind the fee of $0.30 charged for each transaction.
Another alternative to Patreon is SubscribeStar, a platform that welcomes all individuals capable of making creative and unique content to do business on it. SubscribeStar allows creators to set their own subscription price. The platform charges 5% service fee and additional transaction processing fees 2,9% + $0.30 for each transaction.
- Any legal content is allowed on the platform;
- Embedded analytical tools and statistics;
- Content protection against scraping and skimming;
- API, Discord, OAuth2, and Webhooks for integrations.
- No support of PayPal or Stripe payment options;
- Restrictions on withdrawals.
SubscriberStar enables creative individuals, whether professional or not, to create an independent membership and own community to earn a solid income.
Ko-fi is among similar sites to Patreon, which incorporates various opportunities to monetize a community. It is a funding platform where any creative person could implement their marketing plan of selling exclusive content and receiving financial support from subscribers.
Ko-fi features include:
- Creating crowdfunding campaigns for one-time projects;
- No platform fees from donations;
- Creating a personal shop to sell physical and digital products;
- Direct payments into Stripe or PayPal accounts;
- Integrating with other digital tools like Discord, Zapier, WordPress, etc.
Ko-fi has two simple pricing models – Free and Gold. The first plan includes a free membership with a 5% fee on income. The second plan involves a membership payment of $6 per month and cuts all platform fees.
Podia is the choice of many content creators because of the options it has. It is also a brilliant destination for those who want their businesses to grow. Podia allows users to achieve their objectives such as: conducting online courses, selling digital products, creating their own websites or building a solid community.
- Multifunctional platform: you can sell downloadable digital content, online courses, coaching sessions, webinars and workshops.
- A limited free plan is available.
- Built-in email marketing platform.
- Integration with several popular scheduling platforms, including Calendly and YouCanBookMe.
- Options available to run your own community.
- Limited marketing management features so far.
Podia allows creative individuals to try its platform for free using its non-cost plan. However, there is an 8% fee charged for transactions on this plan. Podia also offers other pricing options: Mover, Shaker, and Earthquaker. These paid plans do not take off any additional fees and have a great number of features available for creators to monetize their unique content.
Kickstarter works a bit differently compared to the Patreon alternatives listed above. It allows people to bring special projects to life. They share a project with a community of Kickstarter users and encourage them to support it. In such a way, a creator can raise some funds to accomplish their project.
- Only for one-time projects;
- Membership fee of 5% when a project succeeds;
- All projects pass through a detailed check-up before publication.
- If a campaign fails, you get nothing;
- No monthly recurring subscription model;
- In case the project becomes successful, a creator has to reward supporters;
- Not all projects have a chance to win.
If the project fails, a creator doesn’t need to pay anything. As soon as they reach their goal and get funded, they will be charged a 5% fee, 3%-5% of the transaction fee, and $0.05-$0.20 per pledge.
This alternative is most suitable for narrow specialists like developers, designers, writers, painters, poets, and others who are willing to launch their creative projects.
- Mighty Networks
Another all-in-one platform is called Mighty Networks. This alternative is a great option for creators who are willing to build their own social networks and make money on their videos. Mighty Networks focuses on community building, allowing users to spread their products and projects via different communication channels and entice more supporters to monetize their projects.
- Multifunctional platform: video creation, online courses building, event hosting, and so on;
- Marketing options to monetize creative work: group chat events, live streaming, pools, events publishing, and more;
- Payouts into Stripe account;
- Detailed analytics on growth, the success of a marketing campaign, and others.
- It might be complicated for a novice creator to cope with various tools available on the platform.
Mighty Networks incorporates three pricing plans: the Community plan, the Business plan, and Mighty Pro. Each provides a range of functions to scale the community and improve supporters’ engagement in funding specific videos.
A French funding platform Liberapay with more than 60,000 users, is created exclusively for donations. It doesn’t charge any fee for donations made directly to creators. So, every creative person can open an account on Liberapay and request the audience to donate to their unique works.
- Multilingual platform (currently available in 27 languages);
- Covers 33 currencies;
- Only for recurring donations;
- The minimum donation is €0.01 per week, while the maximum amount is €100 per week.
- No rewards for supporters;
- Relatively new.
Liberapay offers free membership. But one should consider the transaction fee charged by the payment processor selected. It can vary by various parameters: country, currency, and payment method. However, the average fee is expected to be less than 5%.
Also, keep in mind that commercial campaigns won’t work on this Patreon alternative because it is a non-profitable platform.
- Facebook Fan Subscriptions
A well-known social platform Facebook has engaged millions of viewers. It is an excellent option for creators who already have a certain number of supporters on this platform. A creator’s Facebook page must have at least 10,000 followers or 250+ return viewers. Also, it must include 50,000 post engagements or 180,000 watch minutes in the last 60 days.
When all these points are met, a creator takes advantage of a Facebook Fan Subscription by allowing them to do the following steps:
- Upload all creative content on a Facebook page (videos in 720p, GIFs, and links to external sources);
- Develop communities through chatting on Messenger and comments;
- Offer exclusive videos for subscribers;
- Receive payouts via bank cards or PayPal.
Facebook doesn’t take off any cost for membership when it comes to pricing, except for certain fees and taxes applied. A creator will acquire 100% of all their fan subscription payments that are done explicitly to Facebook. When using mobile devices to donate, a 30% fee is charged.
We have reviewed 11 valuable Patreon alternatives, and all of them can be useful to you depending on your objectives. However, it is preferable to diversify your portfolio and choose several monetization platforms that meet your marketing goals. If you have high-quality content and want to delve into the fast-growing CTV segment, then VlogBox is an excellent solution for you. You can succeed with an array of benefits we offer:
- Four pricing plans to choose from;
- Robust analytics to track content performance;
- Easy integration processes and cross-device marketing capabilities;
- 100% transparency;
- Flexible packages and revenue share conditions;
- Personal manager support from signing IO to reporting.