Patreon’s “valuation has decreased substantially — by 70% — over the past year."
Hey Simon, great analysis here. I completely agree with your assessment of Patreon's shortcomings vs Substack and other platforms. However, keep in mind that the overall market sentiment may also be responsible for much of the decline in value. Shopify has lost 80% of it's value in the past year, despite being the market leader.
You forgot to mention that Patreon lost a lot of business (including mine) by giving up on free speech. For example, on 7/6/21 they emailed me: "We are writing to let you know that your account is currently suspended because it violates our Community Guidelines." They didn't say which guidelines or how I had violated them. I responded:
"I don’t believe I have violated any community guidelines. But after reviewing them, I noticed the new guideline on 'medical misinformation.' That policy, which presumably relates to COVID, didn’t exist when I started posting on Patreon. Since my show is primarily a platform for hearing 'the other side of the story' on all of the most important public policy issues, I have featured a couple of scientists and doctors, like internationally-acclaimed peer-reviewed biowar expert Meryl Nass MD and anti-aging scientist Josh Mitteldorf, who disagree with some of the CDC and WHO policies. So I assume that must be the problem.
"Please note that I have also interviewed experts who support CDC and WHO policies, like historian Eric Zuesse and science professor Gideon Polya. I think my overall coverage of COVID issues is 'fair and balanced' given that the whole purpose of my show is to critique mainstream perspectives from the most defensible and interesting angles.
"I would appreciate it if someone at Patreon could help me figure out what I need to do to remain in compliance. "
Patreon's response was to permanently cancel me without further explanation, which earned them intense ill-will from me and my audience. The same thing happened to many other creators. So by pissing off very large numbers of people, they didn't do their business any favors.
To present a complete perspective on this, you may wish to mention their self-created controversy by de-platforming people. I'm a perfect example of someone who was setting up an account and stopped cold after that. It's just too financially risky to build your tribe on a platform you can be cancelled from. -RG
Patreon has much higher adoption than Substack for one simple reason, it caters to video creators natively. The entire Creator Economy and valuations have in general crashed by 70%, Patreon is not special in this. Your analysis may be deceptively simplistic. Patreon has thousands more Creators than Substack. How is Substack creator-friendly if its recommendation system mostly caters to the top Creators?
If you don't understand the stock market, venture capital or the difference between the mobile video web and legacy Newsletters it's hard to make a fair analysis. The real question should be, what is Substack's valuation now as compared to the pandemic peak? It's so low they cannot even do funding in a comfortable manner.
Patreon is ubiquitous for crowd funding for Creators across genres. Substack is mostly a place for influencer writers who thrive, while for others retention is very poor. If Substack is creator friendly, why could this be? In 2022, it's actually OnlyFans that is the big surprise.
Supporting someone on Patreon makes me feel good and part of their community. I don't know many Substacks where I'm actually motivated to go to their discord, slack, Facebook group or other attempt at community. On Patreon, I don't have to "go" anywhere. In truth, Patreon is likely handling the crypto and creator economy winter better than Substack. If Substack shared actual data we would know this to be the case.
The top Substack Creators have of late lost all objectivity when talking about Substack, which itself feels like a poorly placed Advertisement. the recommendation system has created too much Newsletter burnout and lowered our conversion rates across the board, all for higher numbers of views?
Very informative! 👌
Isn’t Patreon just struggling because substack and other platforms have taken away market share?
I wonder how much locals has taken away from Patreon?
Well it's still around and it's a good thing. The more freedom the better. Compared to the book burning neofascist platforms like youtube, twitter, meta etc.. it's still a great tool for freedom of speech and Liberty.