Patreon Shenanigans

Patreon is changing their fee structure to one in which patrons pay more than the amount of their pledge, and creators get a lower percentage of what patrons actually pay.

Lots of people are upset about this, and rightly so.

I’ve had misgivings about Patreon for a while: the way they keep trying to encourage people to have walled gardens (yuck); the way they prioritize shiny tools for very popular creators over things that would make life easier for the rest of us (support for multiple currencies, anyone?); the way the text editor for posts is so difficult to use.

Platforms come and go, and what the most recent changes tell me is that this one may be on the way out, or may be changing to something that won’t work well for me, given my commitment to Creative Commons licensing.

The long and short of it is that I’ve decided that, while I will continue at Patreon for the time being, I’m also branching out into other crowdfunding in a much more serious way. It really doesn’t feel like a good idea to have all my eggs in the Patreon basket any more, no matter how much I like the pay-per-work model that has been so helpful for me over the last four years.

What that means for today is that I now have a Subscriptions page where you can, er, subscribe. In return there are quarterly rewards like stickers and postcards and printed music.

I’ve also opened an account at Liberapay, though I have no idea whether it will come to anything; and I’m going to be experimenting in coming months with a tip jar style of thing, possibly using Ko-fi, possibly some kind of rolling my own so that it can be for £1 instead of £3, because that’s a big difference. I haven’t quite figured out the entire strategy yet, and it’s bound to take time.

The bottom line for me is that I want to keep putting my choral music online for free, so that people can sing it whether they happen to have money to pay for it or not. How that gets funded is less important to me than that it happens.