Last night Patreon announced changes to how their service fees are going to be processed, informing us that as of 18 December patrons will pay a fee of 2.9% + 0.35$ of each pledge they make. The idea is to transfer a bit of the burden to supporters, so that in exchange creators can take home more of the money they receive on Patreon.
My opinion in a nutshell: The general idea is a fair and good one, and I actually quite welcome it! However, as was quickly pointed out by a lot of people, it does add an unfair burden on small patrons. For this reason, I'd like to see a more balanced solution... one that doesn't throw the idea out the window, but shows more consideration for those who support creators! I just wrote to Patreon about it, and below is what I had to say.
Greetings Patreon. I decided to contact you in order to share feedback on the newly announced changes to how fees are going to be distributed and processed. I know that you listen to our feedback, especially from creators on the site which includes me.
I understand that starting 18th of December, people who support creators will be paying a part of the service fees. The formula is 2.9% of the pledged amount + a constant 0.35$ per pledge. If my understanding is correct, those are my pros and cons as well as my suggestion:
The idea of translating a small percentage (anything under 5%) of the pledge into the fee sounds fair and acceptable, and I for one believe it was a good idea! My only issue is with the 0.35$ constant, which I equally believe to be a huge mistake. This is because it adds a huge burden to small patrons, who instead of 1$ will now find themselves paying 1.38$ (0.03$ + 0.35$): Anyone who pledges under 5$ will definitely feel the pressure, and I believe those supporters need to be considered much more carefully.
As a creator, it's definitely been a pain to see myself receiving 300$ a month in Patreon only to end up withdrawing about 270$ from the ATM. I sincerely appreciate Patreon doing something to make this situation easier on us! However we don't want to see this pain transferred to those who support us with small sums of money: Making them pay this much extra is very unfair to them... on top of that, it will harm us creators too, because many patrons will decide to pull out as some have already announced their intention of doing. For this reason, I'm kindly requesting Patreon to please rethink this formula to better take into account the supporters! I'd rather take home 90% of my monthly total instead of 95%, in exchange for a middle-ground solution that makes life easier for those who have helped me financially.
If I was to make a suggestion on the matter, it would be something among the lines of: Instead of 2.9% (of pledge) + 0.35$ (constant), make it 5.0% (of pledge) + 0.1$ (constant). That way, even if someone who makes a larger pledge pays more, those who make small pledges are less affected. Obviously you know best which numbers work for you, but I'd like to see something that's as fair for all categories; I know Patreon puts creators first... however don't forget that without those who support us, we creators would not be here.
Thank you very much for listening. I truly hope my feedback has an impact and leads to a more balanced resolution. Stay awesome Patreon. - Mircea