If you've ever considered signing up to Patreon as a way to make money as a creator, you might want to register in the next few days. That's because the crowdfunding platform is set to hike up its commission rates on 7 May. These higher fees will only affect new members who sign up after that date, while existing users will stay on the current setup. The move comes after Facebook launched a competitor service (opens in new tab) with some rather controversial terms of its own.
As it currently stands, Patreon provides a single service tier and takes a five per cent cut of a user's earnings. It's a service that's popular amongst a variety creators because it allows them to connect with their audience directly. Thanks to the platform, users can share art techniques (opens in new tab) with their audience, focus on the work they enjoy making, and potentially make more money than if they worked for a studio in-house.
But as of 7 May, Patreon will be split into three services, each with its own rate. The most basic option, Patreon Lite, will take the existing five per cent cut of earnings. However users will not be able to enjoy features like backing tiers. Meanwhile with Patreon Pro, members will be able to use a service that's similar to the current model for a fee of eight per cent. The top level service, Patreon Premium, will take a 12 per cent cut, as opposed to its current nine per cent.
Besides splitting up its services and changing its fees, Patreon is also going to standardise its payment processing rate for future creators. This includes a micro payments rate for small value pledges.
As Patreon CEO Jack Conte goes to great lengths to point out in an announcement video on the Patreon site (opens in new tab), these features are opt-in for existing creators who use the platform. So if you like things the way they are and you already use the service, it's business as usual. And if you want to sign up for the existing service, you've got just under a week to do so.