Friday, December 08, 2017

Stop Freaking Out About the New Patreon Fee Structure

I love crowdfunding sources, but there is one thing that I don't love. I don't love my fellow crowdsourcers. When we aren't bullying the people we profess to be supporting, we are finding new things to complain about. The latest in a long list of ridiculous complaints is the recent outcry about Patreon's new fee structure. Patreon announced that the would be shifting the charging of fees away from the creators and putting the cost of the transactions onto the backers in order to maximize revenue to the creators. This was done in response to a number of complaints by creators that they were losing as much as 15% of the total pledged to them to fees and that the fees were fluctuating. To remedy this issue, Patreon decided to charge patrons a fee of $0.35 + 2.9% of their pledge instead of charging a variable fee that depended on type of transaction etc. to the creators.

In response to this, a bunch of backers have flipped out. This is ridiculous. Why? I've got a couple of reasons.

1) The fees are exactly the same fees that you would pay at an AM/PM Market. They charge you $0.35 to use your debit card and they add the percentage processing fee they are charged by the bank (usually between 2.5% and 4%) to the price tag of items in the store. I don't see people picketing AM/PM demanding the $0.35 back on their pack of gum, and I don't think it is fair to complain to Patreon or the creators either.

2) This is an extremely reasonable fee. If you look at the graph below, you can see how much this costs patrons.

At a level of $100, this fee doesn't even come to a total fee of $3.50 and yet it ensures that the creator will receive 95% of that $100 instead of losing an additional $3.25. 

3) It only really affects microbackers. It makes it so that the person pledging $1.00 is in reality pledging $1.38 and that the person backing at $5 is really backing at $5.50. Let me get this straight. You are losing your shit over $0.38 more money out of your pocket that allows more money to go into the pocket of someone you are supposed to be patronizing? Some patron you are. Microbackers might matter to creators in large numbers, they can help pay the bills after all, but in my experience they are more trouble than they are worth. We've all seen the concern troll $1.00 backers on Kickstarter. Look, $0.38 isn't going to break your bank and it allows more money to go to the creator that you supposedly believe in. Didn't know you were such a free rider. I thought you wanted to support a creator's efforts.

I personally never backed below $5 in any of the projects I backed anyway. Why? Because I knew fees were coming out and that I'd rather give $4.50 to a creator than $.75. I back within my budget and support projects I admire. I wish I could support more. I cannot, but I CAN afford to pay an extra $10 total on all my pledges combined. Does this prevent me from backing 1 more project at the $10 level? Sure.

It also means that when I increase my pledge to Saving Throw Show to $100, they'll be getting $95 instead of $85 and it will cost me less than they would have lost otherwise.

No comments: