Earlier this yr, we launched our first-ever Creator Census: a survey that requested you — creators incomes an earnings on Patreon — to inform us extra about yourselves. We’re continuously studying about our group by means of ongoing analysis, suggestions types, focus teams, and extra, however the Creator Census gave us the possibility to listen to from all of you directly and get a broader view of your desires, wants, and aspirations in a single place.
Thanks to each one in all you who took the time to finish the Census. 1000’s of you shared who you might be, the way you run your inventive companies, your excessive factors and your ache factors, and what you wish to see subsequent, each on and off Patreon. We spent the previous couple of months studying every bit of suggestions and poring over each bit of information. Your enter has helped sharpen our focus and inform which areas we’ll discover subsequent.
Right here’s a have a look at what we realized concerning the vibrant and assorted creator group that makes up Patreon.
A be aware on outcomes you’ll see right here: To precisely replicate the inhabitants of creators on Patreon, we’ve weighted the respondent information you’ll see under (except in any other case famous). Particularly, we discovered that visible artists had been greater than 4 occasions extra seemingly as different kinds of creators to fill out the census. For questions the place the outcomes differed considerably by creator medium, we present the unweighted information.
I. Who you might be
Over 13,000 incomes creators weighed in from 113 nations, in 18 languages. That’s our largest single pattern but of the 250,000+ creators energetic on Patreon.
What you make
As creators on Patreon, you specific yourselves in a variety of mediums, from music to visible arts and all the pieces in between. Video is the most well-liked main medium on Patreon (utilized by over a 3rd of creators), adopted by writing and podcasts.
What subjects are you interested by?
It’s clear that your pursuits are as broad and assorted as your mediums of expression. Your work touches on all the pieces from recipes to true crime to finance to popular culture.
II. The way you run your inventive enterprise
Creativity isn’t one-size-fits-all, and we obtained an inside have a look at all of the distinctive methods you’ve structured your companies, together with the place and the way Patreon matches in.
The place are you in your inventive journey?
56% of you contemplate yourselves nearer to being a seasoned skilled, whereas 44% mentioned you’re nearer to simply beginning out.
Who do you’re employed with?
80% of you’re employed alone, 11% of you might be a part of a group, and eight% work solo, however associate with a group of non-creators. Podcasters are most definitely to work in groups (39%), whereas visible artists are most definitely to work as a group of 1 (94%).
Discovering your followers
Unsurprisingly, the platforms the place you first discovered and grew your viewers fluctuate primarily based on medium.
So, the place does Patreon slot in?
How vital is Patreon to your earnings?
You informed us that, on common, you make over 40% of your earnings on Patreon. Different prime earnings sources embody jobs associated to your inventive pursuits, commissions, and subscriptions on different platforms. (Numbers rounded as much as the closest complete proportion.)
What does your Patreon membership seem like?
The preferred advantages you present your Patreon members (except for the flexibility to help your work basically) are unique content material and early entry to content material. For a lot of of you, patron interplay by means of fan requests/voting, shoutouts, and/or group areas for patrons is a key element of your memberships.
Constructing a group: what’s in a reputation?
1 / 4 of you’ve gotten a customized title to your communities, one thing apart from “patron” or “member.” Some distinctive monikers embody: “Lanterns,” “Resistance officers,” “Sleepyheads,” “Inklings,” “Slay Squad,” “Podsiders,” “Sofa potatoes,” and “Amigos.” A 3rd of podcasters have customized names for his or her communities, which is greater than another kind of creator.
Even when making an allowance for variations in month-to-month earnings, we discovered that creators with customized names for his or her patrons see, on common, 4-8% increased month-to-month retention from their current patrons. Whereas this information is just not causal — naming your patrons received’t essentially trigger them to remain round longer — it’s a sign that fostering a way of group amongst your patrons will help create a deeper a way of belonging.
Speak concerning the cool stuff you’re doing.
79% of you promote your Patreon at the very least as soon as a month, whereas 43% advertise at the very least as soon as every week, primarily on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube (in each movies and the video description textual content).
We additionally discovered that promotion frequency is correlated with earnings. Frequent promoters usually tend to have increased earnings than creators who promote sometimes. On common in contrast with creators who promote solely as soon as a month (and controlling for earnings), creators who promote each day earn 75% extra and creators who promote as soon as every week earn 31% extra.
III. Zooming in: excessive factors & ache factors
We requested about your on a regular basis expertise on Patreon, and also you gave us suggestions on numerous key areas, together with ease of use and the way we talk product and coverage updates.
Alternatives for enchancment
General, you informed us that Patreon meets your wants, supplies correct account info, and has clear insurance policies and pointers. Particularly, you mentioned you wish to see extra from us in three fundamental areas. Listed below are some steps we’re taking to enhance in every of them.
- Extra transparency round choice making
- What we heard: You need extra context across the choices we make, from coverage to product.
- What we’re doing about it:
- Product priorities and new options: We began by sharing our 2022 product priorities, with context for a way we got here to every choice. We’re additionally experimenting with new methods you’ll be able to join with our Product Crew to grasp the reasoning behind our strategy, equivalent to stay Q&A periods round particular launches.
- Tips and insurance policies: Along with quarterly livestreams to assemble suggestions on upcoming coverage proposals, the Coverage Crew shall be releasing a Transparency Report later this yr that gives information and context round how we tackle unlawful, dangerous, or in any other case violative content material.
- Higher communication
- What we heard: You’d like extra simply discoverable updates about product enhancements, sources, and group occasions.
- What we’re doing about it:
- Making common updates extra accessible: To make sure our quarterly product roundups are extra extensively accessible, we’ll now publish every replace to the weblog so that you can entry at any time. We’ll additionally be certain the “What’s New” feed in Creator Sources (on the backside left of your creator dashboard on Patreon.com) is saved updated. Lastly, we all know some foundational enhancements we make (like website pace and playback expertise) aren’t at all times clearly noticeable. We’ll be higher about giving updates on under-the-hood (however vital) modifications like these.
- Updates on key product priorities: Look out for a mid-year replace on our 2022 product priorities.
- Right here’s how one can anticipate to listen to from us:
- E mail: Subscribe right here for normal product newsletters and notices of upcoming occasions and workshops.
- The weblog: We’ll use this area to share product roundups, introductions to new group members, and deep dives on particular product enhancements.
- Creator Group Discord: Whereas this area is primarily so that you can join with different creators, you’ll additionally hear from us in #patreon-announcements, #ask-patreon, and devoted Q&A channels round particular packages, information and bulletins (like quarterly coverage livestreams).
- Useful resource middle: Entry a feed of the newest product modifications through Creator Sources on the backside left of your creator dashboard on Patreon.com.
- Listening to creator suggestions
- What we heard: You wish to know that we’re listening to your suggestions, and higher perceive the place/how we gather suggestions.
- What we’re doing about it: Over time, we’ve realized that not all creators are comfy giving suggestions in the identical approach, which was a theme we noticed repeated within the Census. That’s a key purpose why we ran the Census — to offer a brand new approach for all energetic creators to precise themselves. Right here’s an outline of all the opposite channels we at the moment use to listen to and study from creators. We’ll proceed strengthening these channels by often sharing what we’ve realized (like this report, the Creator Coverage Engagement Program, and the upcoming Transparency Report), and discovering new methods to attach.
IV. Wanting forward
As creators, you’re continuously reinventing and experimenting, and we’re alway seeking to study what’s serving to you alongside your journey. We needed to grasp what new instruments, companies, and applied sciences are in your radar to raised help your future aspirations — whether or not or not it’s one thing we’d construct ourselves.
2022 product priorities
We appreciated the chance to get your suggestions on our 2022 priorities, asking you to rank them by worth to what you are promoting. Throughout the board, native video, improved posting, and content material group rose to the highest as most steadily ranked within the prime two spots, adopted by fixing billing confusion and an easier, cleaner design.
We’ve been increasing beta entry to native video and a brand new billing possibility, and we’ve begun bettering the posting stream (autosave drafts, extra responsive load occasions) and website navigation. Keep tuned throughout all our communication channels for a complete replace on our 2022 priorities within the subsequent couple months.
Potential future options
We additionally needed to understand how you’re feeling about varied steadily requested potential options. Your enter will assist inform how we prioritize our roadmap shifting ahead. A number of the hottest of those options embody:
- One-time tipping
- Present memberships
- Personalized touchdown web page structure
- Information about the place new patrons come from
- Notifications when a patron upgrades, downgrades, or cancels
- Permitting creators to manage entry to beforehand posted content material
A be aware on web3:
We all know the impression of web3 on the creator financial system is a hotly debated concern. Whereas we stay targeted on what you’ve informed us you care about most (which your Census responses have bolstered), we’re additionally doing our analysis to grasp how functions of web3 would have an effect on creators, each positively and negatively.
From the Census, public dialog, and different suggestions channels, we all know there are a number of views inside our creator group. Some creators, together with many who took this survey, are against Patreon constructing any web3 performance on account of considerations about potential fraudulent habits, environmental sustainability, and inaccessibility of the know-how in its current functions. Different creators already supply web3 advantages off Patreon, and are excited concerning the flexibility and worth they will supply members with new kinds of digital items. Within the Census, 68% of visible artists and 50% of writers had been against creators being able to just accept funds in cryptocurrency on Patreon, whereas 39% of picture, 34% of audio/music, and 31% of video creators indicated it could be a “essential” or “good to have” functionality. Throughout creator varieties, a couple of third say they “don’t care.”
As new functions of web3 come up, we’ll proceed doing our due diligence in evaluating what alternatives and pitfalls they could maintain for creators, as we do with any rising know-how. We’re not within the enterprise of doing one thing new simply because it sounds cool. Now and sooner or later, our north star is deliberately constructing know-how that drives long-term worth for creators. For that purpose, any time we contemplate constructing something new, it must:
- Give creators possession of their creations and fan bases
- Provide creators freedom and adaptability to work on their very own phrases
- Give creators alternatives to construct their companies
What do you most aspire to do as a creator within the subsequent couple of years?
With out query, your prime aspiration for the following couple of years is to develop your viewers. 1 / 4 of you might be additionally eyeing new collaborations with creators and experimentation with new mediums.
Being a creator in the present day is likely one of the most troublesome jobs on the market, but it surely’s additionally probably the most rewarding. Our purpose with this Census was to raised perceive what you want and wish, so we are able to present the very best platform so that you can do what you do greatest. To all of you who participated in our Census: thanks. We’re so excited to make use of what we’ve realized right here to hone our priorities within the coming months, and past. Keep tuned!