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Earth (Arts and Literature)

Revisiting Patreon

In March 2015 I started a series, 30 Artists in 30 Days, where the plan was to find 30 artists to support on Patreon. The 30-days part ended up being a little loose. Read that post first if you haven’t already.

It’s been about 18 month since then, and I thought I’d go back and see how Patreon is working out for those artists.

Here’s the list:

Active means has posted on Patreon since June 2016.

Artist Current Status Mar 2015 Sep 2016
Nate Maingard Active 153 $1343 269 $1309
Amanda Palmer Active 3935 $29,193.25 8,317 $33,080
Cyra Morgan Inactive 22 $140 25 $139
Julia Nunes Active 504 $2,010.84 531 $1,424
Dan Newbie Inactive 16 $43 21 $49
George Aguirre Inactive 16 $221 removed
Okori Active 13 $50.50 23 $68
Walt Ribeiro Inactive 28 $158.11 removed
TimH Active 53 $844.35 55 $968
Peter Yuen Active 47 $558 78 $838
Peter Blanchard Active 14 $251 18 $177
The DarkSide Active 1 $1 1 $1
Raina Rose Active ?? ?? 62 $198
James O’Deorain Inactive ?? ?? removed
Caitlin de Ville Inactive ?? ?? 61 $336
Danielle Ate the Sandwich Active 181 $1,011.85 193 $693
Nika Harper Active 302 $1,918.41 194 $877
Scott Bradlee Active 955 $3,427.59 620 $1316
Lauren O’Connell Inactive 342 $1,463.68 357 $1,193
Ana Free Active 75 $445.00 53 $390
Sean Osborn Inactive 3 $31.00 5 $37
David Sides Inactive 5 $9 4 $7
Cyrille Aimee Active 79 $705 152 $1,125
Phil J Active 9 $34 9 $40
Tony Lucca Active 178 $1,373.00 165 $1,003
Christopher Bill Active 48 $287.50 47 $98
Walk Off the Earth Active 1448 $15,805.50 1,287 $9,512
Taylor Davis Active 370 $1,857.00 412 $1,707
Unwoman Active 293 $593.61 399 $751
Gabby Young Active 40 $226.00 51 $260

Like Wikipedia, the concept behind Patreon seems to me like one those things the internet was designed for. Freeing up artists from the middlemen so that they can interact and earn directly from their audience.

So I was quite surprised to see that the majority have seen a reduction in their Patreon income, some quite substantially. A few no longer have Patreon accounts. Only 12 of the 30 have seen an increase. Most have fewer patrons, but even some with more patreons are earning less – so the average pledge has come down. I can’t really see a good reason for this. Patreon’s site was exploited in in October 2015, and perhaps this had an effect, frightening people off. But Patreon’s still getting good press, and still seems to be attracting new artists, so it’s a pity and a mystery to me that artists have not been able to grow their income in a way many would have hoped.

Related posts:
* 30 Artists in 30 Days