Creativity as it should be: building for your real fans

June 25, 2024

Creators want a dedicated place for their real fans. They’re building it on Patreon.

There’s a shift happening in the creator economy. Creators want a place where people can sign up to see their future work… and then actually see it. They don’t want to keep chasing likes or follower counts in a constantly changing system they have no control over. They want a place where they can create for their real fans and make what excites them.

Creators: you’ve been playing by platforms’ rules, but we want to help you play by your own.

We launched free membership and community chats last year to give you a more meaningful place to bring your fans together beyond traditional social media platforms. And it turns out, that’s exactly what fans are looking for too. Creators’ communities on Patreon have doubled since launch.

Real fans, real impact

Your followers want to see you on their feeds as they scroll. But your real fans want more. They want to stay up to date and involved with your world. They want to know what you’re up to. They don’t want to miss a single thing you create. Over 60% of free members say that’s the reason they’ve joined Patreon: to stay up to date with all of your work and announcements.

In the first year alone, creators have seen over 30 million new free memberships. It’s clear fans want a place to be completely immersed in your world, get all your updates, and be a part of something special.

That’s what we want to create on Patreon. A place where you can bring and energize your real fans – the ones who wear the merch, come out to the shows, and light up the group chats. And when they’re ready to take it to the next level, they can easily upgrade to paid.

Lasting business growth

This influx of new free members also bodes well for creators’ bottom lines. Across Patreon, over half of all free members (52%) say they’re interested in upgrading to a paid option.

Already creators are seeing success driving that free-to-paid conversion. Comedian Sean Jordan built a community of free members in the lead-up to the release of his new comedy special by sharing a series of Patreon-exclusive podcasts. By release day, his community was thousands strong, and 73% purchased the special in his Patreon shop.

And it’s not just Sean. We've seen that over 90% of creators who have highly active communities — where fans are consistently commenting, reacting, or chatting, for example — earn at least $1K per month.

“I share a lot with my free members because I think they'll enjoy it... and I think they'll want more.” - Eric Striffler, Pretty Much It

What’s coming next

You deserve to be able to energize your real fans and grow your business, so you can continue to make what excites you, strengthen your community, and set yourself up for long-term success on your own terms. Here’s some of what we’re working on to help you get there.

Real fan connection

A new way to drop work
In the coming months, you’ll be able to turn the release of new work into a shared experience for your fans, complete with a countdown clock and a live chat.

Community for all
Soon, you’ll be able to open up your community chats to all members, free and paid. You can also now share posts just for free members (in addition to posts just for paid members and posts for all members).

Business growth

Gifting is coming
Gifting is one of the all-time most requested tools for creators on Patreon — and now it’s in the works. We’re testing the ability to gift membership to fans for a set amount of time. Gifting will live in a new, dedicated Promotions tab alongside other new tools for discounting digital products and automating offers.

Sell posts and collections
You’ll soon be able to list individual posts and collections for sale, giving fans more flexibility to make one-time purchases and get small tastes of what your membership is all about.

Shareable clips
Auto-generate audio and video clips of your Patreon posts as teasers that you can share off-platform to drive more fans to your page.

The future creators deserve

Creators deserve a space online to strengthen relationships with their most passionate fans, explore their creativity in its purest form, and grow sustainable businesses that they control and own. This is the future we’re building — a future where real fan connection and professional creativity are possible for all.

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