Patreon, a crowdfunding platform specializing in longterm funding, has acquired Subbable, a similar subscription funding venture founded by book publishing and YouTube stars John and Hank Green.
Patreon cofounder Jack Conte told PW that Subbable has about 24 creators that will begin transitioning their accounts and supporters to the Patreon platform over the next 45 days. To speed up the process and reassure former Subbable supporters, Conte said Patreon will match all pledges to former Subbable creators up to $100,000 for the next 45 days, effectively doubling the amount of each pledge.
Conte said the offer to match pledges to Subbable creators is “to make sure the creators continue to get a monthly paycheck, make the creators move over to Patreon quickly and to encourage patrons to donate by doubling their pledges.”
Subbable was founded in 2013 by bestselling author Johh Green (The Fault in our Stars) and his brother Hank Green, a musician, entrepreneur, vlogger and founder of VidCon, an online video conference. Much like Patreon, which allows fans to pledge money on a monthly basis to support an artist’s career, Subbable is designed to provide creators with longterm funding rather than raise money for one-off or one-time projects.
The deal was partly driven by Amazon’s decision to halt its Flexible Payments Service, which provides the underlying payment infrastructure to Subbable. Former Subbable creators will now use Stripe, a payment service that has been adopted by Kickstarter as well as Patreon.
Conte told PW “there are a lot of reasons to do this acquisition,” noting that he and the Green brothers have been working together and supporting each other’s projects for years. He described the Green brothers, also known as Vlogbrothers for the popular YouTube channel they founded, as “colossal in online video.” He called Hank Green a “pioneer,” citing his efforts launching new online video channels that attract millions of fans, including “three new shows this year that have attracted nearly 500 million views.”
Conte said the combination of Patreon’s longterm support and Kickstarter’s project-oriented support would have a big impact on creators in the future. “Patreon and Kickstarter are not competitors,” he said. Conte cited the webcomic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal by cartoonist Zach Weinersmith—Conte said 19% of the top creators on Patreon have webcomics projects—who receives nearly $9,000 a month via Patreon supporters. In July 2014 Weinersmith also raised more than $384,000 on Kickstarter to fund the publication of Augie and the Green Knight: A Children’s Adventure Book, a new kid's work with illustrations by the French artist Boulet.
Conte said he envisions a new generation of artists that get a monthly “paycheck” via Patreon to support themselves, while using Kickstarter to fund specific shows, books, comics or whatever. “Funding can happen on Patreon, while shows can exist elsewhere, on Youtube or SoundCloud or wherever,” he said.