Content-creation start-up Patreon offers an income-generation stream to comedians, artists, musicians and other creators.
Founded in 2013, Patreon is new hope for many creatives who aim to earn a living by setting monthly subscription fees for exclusive access to their work, with the company only taking a 5pc cut of the earnings.
It has been a time of great growth for the platform, with 50,000 creators using its services, and total payout set to be $150m for 2017.
A new creative economy?
The success of the platform for both creators and the company alike means that it could end up being something of a beacon for a new creative economy.
TechCrunch reported today (15 September) that Patreon has closed a big Series C funding round, with two sources valuing the start-up at close to $450m. Patreon has yet to comment on the funding news.
The success of Patreon lies in the control that creators can exercise over their content, whether it’s bespoke illustrations or a YouTube video series about games. Patreon handles the administrative side, and has strong creators’ rights protections in place.
The earning potential for Patreon creators is not to be sniffed at, with 35 makers earning more than $150,000 in 2016, including media platform Canadaland and illustrator Tim Urban.
The end of the starving artist
This company attitude likely stems from the fact that co-founder Jack Conte is a musician and videographer, and felt that advertising was simply not a reliable enough revenue stream to make a decent living as a creative.
A funding round as large as this points to investors having faith in the model, and could mean more benefits and features for creators to monetise their content in an effective and bespoke way.
This level of investment is likely to catalyse increased use of the platform by creatives, as they see investors sit up and take notice.