Crowdfunded support of the arts is through the roof, or at least for Patreon it is.
Patreon, which was founded in May 2013 to enable fans to support and sometimes engage with artists and creators, brought in $10 million in 2014.
The site, which includes support for YouTubers, web comics, blogs, indie games and much more, takes five percent of that and the creators have to cover the credit card transaction fees, which typically run four percent. So that means about 90 percent of a pledge goes to a creator.
The year’s $10 million is a 3,761 percent increase over 2013, which saw pledges of $259,000. Even if you take into account the fact that Patreon didn’t launch until five months into 2013, that’s an astounding increase.
“In our eyes (and hearts), this demonstration of support underscores a dramatic, cultural revolution happening in arts communities around the globe,” wrote Tyler Palmer, vice president of operations at Patreon, in a letter to members. “More creators are able to create freely and fully by connecting directly to the people with the power to support them. We’re honored to help make this happen, and inspired to do more.”
Over the course of this year, Palmer goes on to write, Patreon added creation pages, new payment settings, a features section and improved search and recommendation engines. He writes that 2015 will bring with it new designs and features including notifications, creator analytics and a mobile app.
“Thank you for making things,” Palmer wrote. “Thank you for paying people to make things. And thank you for stepping into a new ecosystem that’s evolving the way art is financed and shared. We know that without you, Patreon is an empty shell. YOU fund, YOU create, YOU fill us up, and for that, we are eternally grateful.”
Polygon’s Ethics statement was updated over the fall to include a policy for contributing to Patreon campaigns, it reads: “Polygon staff are permitted to contribute to Patreon campaigns for members of the video game industry, but need to disclose the details of those contributions on their staff page as well as on any related coverage they publish on the site.”