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Patreon backs away from controversial fee restructuring plan

Patreon backs away from controversial fee restructuring plan

December 13, 2017 | By Alissa McAloon

December 13, 2017 | By Alissa McAloon
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More: Business/Marketing



Patreon has decided not to implement the controversial fee changes it first announced last week following vocal online feedback and conversations with multiple creators that use the platform. 

The now abandoned fee system would have placed the burden of paying service fees on the patrons pledging cash rather than the game developers, artists, and other creators receiving the money. Beyond that, fees were assessed on a per-transaction basis, meaning the new system would've disproportionately affected small pledges and people pledging small amounts to multiple creators.

Now Patreon co-founder and CEO Jack Conte says that the controversial system will not be rolling out on December 18 as previously planned. Conte notes that there are still issues with Patreon's platform that need to be addressed in the future, but admits in a blog post that the proposed changes were not the way to go about addressing those problems. 

Conte says that he and his team conversed with creators for "hours and hours" to work out exactly what issues those users had with the system and where Patreon went wrong with the plans. 

"Fundamentally, creators should own the business decisions with their fans, not Patreon," said Conte. "We overstepped our bounds and injected ourselves into that relationship, against our core belief as a business."

Conte notes that the new payment system would have disproportionately impacted pledges in the $1-$2 range as many had previously pointed out and that, ultimately, the company underestimated how important patrons that donated small amounts to multiple creators were to the platform. 

"We still have to fix the problems that those changes addressed, but we’re going to fix them in a different way, and we’re going to work with you to come up with the specifics, as we should have done the first time around," says Conte. "Many of you lost patrons, and you lost income. No apology will make up for that, but nevertheless, I’m sorry. It is our core belief that you should own the relationships with your fans. These are your businesses, and they are your fans."



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