Oh no I like and use Patreon to send and receive and it turns out they took a lot of VC funding and as we know this is bad news these days… https://social.cheribaker.com/2019/02/07/134428.html
Thrive capital as well. Oh boy.
If anyone wants to make a sustainable Patreon alternative now is the time.
The primary reason for Patreon’s success is that they had VC funding in order to make a big launch and pay a decent-sized team to get going. Now, they could have potentially gotten other funding and could have been structured as a co-op and/or other ethical measures, but they had mediocre terms and such from the beginning. None of this is new. They took VC money before you had ever heard of them, before they even launched.
My organization, Snowdrift.coop, started before Patreon even, back in 2013, but we’re still struggling to get fully-launched. It’s much harder since we’ve been almost all volunteer basis, no investors (we’re non-profit and structuring as a co-op) and we’re not just another duplicate of standard funding models, we’re doing the hard work of actually developing a new, better model that serves the values of free/libre/open public goods.
Note that Patreon’s model is not new. There were sustainable funding options before they existed. The primary innovation they offered was their pay-per-release thing which isn’t a good fit for many cases anyway. The other thing Patreon does is be a paywall service in terms of running a program that gives patrons exclusive access to things that often could and should be public really.
Anyway, we did all the research on all the services in this space. So if you are curious about what’s out there already, here it is: https://wiki.snowdrift.coop/market-research/other-crowdfunding#subscription (linked to the sustaining-funding section, the page covers other models too).
So, the premise that Patreon is somehow special or that there aren’t already alternatives is nonsense.
But there’s nothing like Snowdrift.coop yet, and we believe that our crowdmatching model is what’s really needed in this space.