WTF Community

Patreon fee changes

I am a minor contributor to your efforts through Patreon. I have no objection to paying the credit card fees. Many charitable sites offer the option to the contributor, to pay the fees or to let the charity pay for them, and usually I opt to pay them myself. Patreon was a little abrupt in making the decision and presenting it as a done deal, but it’s a very small amount for me to pay and you do get a little more out of the deal. Thank you for all you do.


@matt do you know about the Basic Attention Token?

Long story short: it would enable viewers using the Brave browser to pay you in BAT (which is a cryptocurrency based on Ethereum). Each BAT is worth about $0.18 now; 300,000 BATs were given away yesterday to Brave users so they can start supporting publishers.

The wallet that holds these tokens is built into the browser; a user can decide to pay a percentage of their BAT holdings each month to publishers.

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Hey @amugnier

Completely agree that Patreon’s fee structure changes were abrupt, poorly communicated, and a shock. You should have received an email from me last night addressing some of this. If not, I’ll DM you with it.

The change and blowback has completely taken me out of my rhythm today as I’ve been responding to supporters and trying to plot a path forward. Most supporters are totally cool with it, despite feeling shocked/annoyed.

My beef is with Patreon’s poor execution, tone deaf messaging, and the rollout of the change.

It’s abundantly clear that Patreon spent more time in the spreadsheet than talking with creators and patrons about how to effectively implement this in the least disrupting way. It’s also clear that whoever wrote the marketing copy for this change has never been a patron or a creator. That blog post and the emails sent to creators and patrons reads like somebody who has never actually used the platform.

I can’t reasonable continue to use Patreon if things don’t change. While I fundamentally agree with the fee structure changes, I disagree with its execution and roll out.

Patreon owes patrons an apology for hoodwinking them – especially the ones who support multiple creators.

I’ve spent a lot of time today looking at Memberful, DonorBox, Kickstarter Drip, etc. and modeling out what that might look like. The feedback I’ve received from patrons is that they’d prefer a service that doesn’t dick them… or me. They’re platform agnostic, and so am I.

I’ll give Patreon a fair shot to resolve this, but the clock is ticking.

I find it ironic that Patreon hasn’t learned a thing about communication from the 50k creators who are supported by a community of more than a million patrons.

Needless to say I’m pretty bummed out with how uniquely pathetic this rollout was.

More soon. -Matt


I agree here - if I could opt to cover the fees, I would too (I didn’t even realize ab the fees). Seems to be the “fair” way - I would want my total contribution going towards what I’m contributing to vs to processing fees.

And thank you @matt for the Patreon update last night…when I saw the email from Patreon directly I was super confused, they should use yours as an example to explain wtf they are doing! lol


I don’t object to the fees, but I agree: the roll-out sucked. In addition to WTFJHT, I support several f/sf (fantasy/science fiction) writers through Patreon. I haven’t figured out yet if I’ll have to cut back on any contributions to compensate for the change – my campaign-related credit card debt is a factor, and WTF, it’s not even 2018 yet! :wink: Speaking of which – I’m a regular at ActBlue, and I like the way they handle the cost of overhead. With each contribution you’re offered the option of adding a “tip.” The default is 10%, but you can choose to tip more, less, or nothing at all. I invariably do tip because I value the service and want those who provide it to be compensated. Ditto Patreon.

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Just saw a note from one of the other guys I support via Patreon (Jim Wright, Stonekettle Station) that said due to overwhelming user objection, Patreon has rescinded their decision re: fee changing.

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Here’s a link to their blog post:

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Here’s where we’re at:

If you’re just joining us… Last week Patreon announced they were shifting the responsibility for the credit card processing fees from creators (like me) to patrons (like you). It meant that patrons would absorb a 2.9% + .35 fee per transaction, which disproportionately hurt supporters pledging <$5/mo. (I previously ate that fee) On top of that, Patreon announced they’d be moving from a lump sum transaction for those who supported multiple creators to individual transactions. So, if you pledged $1 to five different creators previously (e.g. $5 total/mo.), you would now be charged five times at $1.38 – or $6.90/mo. Lame.

BUT now that’s not happening… After blowback on the decision from both patrons and creators, Patreon announced today that they won’t move forward with the change – at least not in its current form. It’s great to see a company listening to its users and reacting in a thoughtful way. Takes a lot to admit you fucked up.

What happens now… I’m waiting on a call from my Patreon rep about what they’re doing to ensure this doesn’t happen in the future. My preference is that Patreon makes this right and we don’t have to go worry about Plan B. That said, however, I’m exploring several other options in the event we need to leave Patreon. It’s a hope for the best, but prepare for the worst sort of thing right now.

More from me soon. You’re receiving the email, yes?

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Interesting. I don’t know if that’s a viable path considering exactly 0% of my traffic comes from Brave (unless the traffic shows up as a generic user agent).

Thanks for sharing.

I should have mentioned that Brave is based on Chromium, so it uses that user agent string; there will be extensions for Chrome, Firefox, etc. later.

People are also allowed to donate BAT to a site even if the site isn’t registered as a publisher, so there could be BAT waiting for you; it doesn’t cost anything to register.