Patreon says it has seen a big lift in new creators and fans participating on its platform in recent weeks. More than 30,000 creators joined the site in the first three weeks of March alone, and Patreon says an unusually large number of fans are pitching in financially to support their favorite creators.
Financial freedom would be nice right now — It's not surprising that more people are trying to start side hustles considering the current state of the world. Much of the work creators are publishing through Patreon, from music to personal essays, can easily be created in quarantine anyway. And for existing artists suffering from a wave of event cancellations, Patreon could be a way to accept fan support until this fiasco is over.
You may be thinking that with people losing their jobs they'd be inclined to cut their Patreon subscriptions before anything else, and the company does say it's seen a bump in cancellations with some fans citing coronavirus-related financial hardship. It's just that new fan subscriptions have been enough to far outweigh those losses. Patreon says that in the U.S., UK, Canada, Germany, Australia, and Italy, growth in new subscriptions increased 36.2 percent in March over February.
Come together — Patreon doesn't break out how much money the average creator on its platform is making each month, but added that the proportion of new creators who acquire a fan subscription within the first 10 days of joining the site is higher than usual. All of Patreon's numbers have been relative here — it doesn't break out absolute numbers of new fan subscriptions for us to get a full picture of how many new subscriptions we're talking — but the information is still heartening in that it shows people trying to help each other out during uncertain times.
"Patreon exists to provide a stable, reliable source of income for creators, and that’s especially important in this time of global uncertainty," says Maura Church, Patreon's head of data science. "Artists change lives by providing the much-needed work that uplifts us, inspires us, and gives us hope, and fans are rushing to support that."