Patreon Fee Updates



Hello Everyone! Earlier yesterday morning, all Patreon creators received an email announcing that Patreon will be implementing a new fee system starting 18 December. To summarize these changes you can see the infographic above, but patrons will have a 2.9% + $0.35 service fee incurred on top of every subscription transaction made. If you would like to read the FAQ provided to Patreon Creators you can do so here:

As an example, if you are a $1 subscriber of ours you will pay $1.38 in total under this new system. We at Feral Attraction will get $0.95 of that transaction (as we have a 5% transaction fee on our end as well). Under the old system we at Feral Attraction took the hit and had 12% of our total patron subscriptions taken as fees by Patreon (meaning we make $0.88 for every $1 pledged via Patreon). Patreon pitched this change as a “creator-first mindset”, which in reality translates to a “patron-last mindset”. We at Feral Attraction do not agree with this forced choice or the timeline that Patreon has established to bring about this change. 

Why We Use Patreon

Feral Attraction is, in strict terms, an indie podcast. We are not part of a larger broadcasting network, nor do we receive any commercial funding. While we do not require Patreon to continue running the podcast, our Patrons do help us to absorb the costs of the show (and our live events) and help keep this as close to cost neutral for us as possible. 

To breakdown our costs in general terms, we use funds from Patreon for research materials (journal access, books, etc…) as well as to cover our hosting fees (Squarespace), our recording platform fees (Zencastr), and to help subsidize the conventions we go to as well as the events/panels we have. Every penny we make through Patreon goes into the show as a long term investment and we hold ourselves to that ideal.

Patreon, as an idea, works because it allows for easier access for our show’s community to help support us. Not everyone has an arts endowment they can dip into to fund our podcast in entirety for a year, but many people do have a dollar or two that they can budget throughout the course of each month to help reduce our cost liability. We appreciate Patreon for that and this was, in our minds, Patreon’s key to success. 

The business model of “for just a dollar a month you can support your favorite creators each month” is approachable for Patrons and is a comfortable spot for many individuals to not only support their favorite creators but to not feel as spread thin if they have multiple creators they want to support. In an abstract way, the $1 tier is almost like microtransactions in a game-- most people do not mind spending a dollar or two a month on their favorite content, and while games containing microtransactions rely on the “whales” (those who spend many hundreds of dollars on microtransactions), many creators who are full time creators rely on the hundreds of people who donate at a $1 tier.

The Problem

There are several flaws with this new fee system, however the primary issue is with the $1 tier. With our other tiers ($3, $5, $10) we are able to reduce the actual tier amount to adjust for the service fee inflation that Patreon has put into effect to get the updated end total as close to where they are currently. However, the $1 tier can not be reduced any lower, which means that our current $1 patrons will pay $1.38 every month. By Patreon’s design we are unable to work around this. 

While many of our Patrons donate at a higher tier level, this does impact a large group of current and potential Patrons. We at Feral Attraction do not approve of this action, however outside of deleting this tier entirely there is nothing that we as creators are able to do currently for the $1 tier patrons.

The Feral Attraction Way

We at Feral Attraction believe in ethical communication. Changes like this, that impact your wallet and your financial bottom line, should be communicated well in advance (far beyond a week and a half). Patreon allows for us to expand our podcast and our network, to attend new conventions, have new panel content, research our topics, reach out to other creators, and build a network of support and education within the Furry Fandom. 

We have said from the start that Patreon is not a service we need to survive and that the best contribution that any of our fans could make would be to share our content with others and, if so inclined, to leave a rating and a review on the platform that they listen to our show. That being said, it is a service that helps us to cover the fees associated with our show and we are appreciative of every cent we receive. It is our hope that our Patrons feel that an investment in the show is not just an investment in us as cohosts, but the message that we at Feral Attraction are sharing and the community that we are helping to build. It is with this community in mind that are taking action and providing you, our Patrons, with the choice that Patreon refuses to provide:

Feral Attraction will be creating new reward tiers over $1 that absorb the new fees that Patreon wants to assess to Patrons. As mentioned above we are unfortunately unable to reduce the $1 Tier below-- if this means that you can no longer be a Patron, we understand. Money is tight, and budgets can be strict-- that Patreon does not understand this is a reflection on their own values. This is a matter of principle for us and something that we feel very strongly about. Our Patrons have had our back from the start, it is time for us to have your back. We want to provide you with the choice on how to support us and not demand that you pay Patreon’s ridiculous processing fees that they gave next to no advance warning about. 

We understand that some people might want to remain at their current tiers and are okay with the associated fees that Patreon will assess. We will not be removing the current donation tiers as long as you remain subscribed to them. We do, however, encourage you to move to the new tiers that will be created. 

Our existing Patron Tier fee schedules:

  • $1
    • Applying the 2.9% + $0.35 fee, the total Patrons at this tier will be charged is $1.38
  • $3
    • Applying the 2.9% + $0.35 fee, the total Patrons at this tier will be charged is $3.43
  • $5
    • Applying the 2.9% + $0.35 fee, the total Patrons at this tier will be charged is $5.49
  • $10 
    • Applying the 2.9% + $0.35 fee, the total Patrons at this tier will be charged is $10.64

Our new Patron Tier fee schedules:

  • $1
    • Our $1 tier can not be reduced 
      • Applying the 2.9% + $0.35 fee, the total Patrons at this tier will be charged is $1.38
  • $3
    • Our $3 tier will be reduced to $2.50
      • Applying the 2.9% + $0.35 fee, the total Patrons at this tier will be charged is $2.92
  • $5
    • Our $5 tier will be reduced to $4.50
      • Applying the 2.9% + $0.35 fee, the total Patrons at this tier will be charged is $4.98
  • $10 
    • Our $10 tier will be reduced to $9.30
      • Applying the 2.9% + $0.35 fee, the total Patrons at this tier will be charged is $9.91

Again, we do not believe that Patreon is acting in good faith and is, instead, using this as a means to acquire more money for their platform. This is within their right as a private entity, however we do not like when people are robbed of choice. We encourage all of our Patrons to shift to these new tiers-- there is no change in incentives offered at the respective levels.

We would ask that everyone who feels strongly about this to send a comment to Patreon and provide them with appropriate feedback. This harms Creators and Patrons and, ultimately, undermines the community and system that Patreon has put in place. 

Thank you for your patience and understanding-- these changes will go into effect immediately upon posting. 

Be Well,

Viro the Science Collie

7 December 2017