Patreon, the platform that empowers subscribers -
Patreon, a crowdfunding platform, recently launched in France.
It allows all types of content creators to finance themselves through a monthly payment from their subscribers.
The videographer Solange speaks to you, 400,000 subscribers on YouTube, tells
20 Minutes how
Patreon helps him work more calmly.
No, YouTube isn't just Squeezie, Tibo Inshape, and Natoo.
Behind these big names with millions of subscribers hides an endless list of creators who bring together a few if not a lot less people.
Yet driven by the same passion, the "smallest" videographers work just as much as the stars of the platform to turn their passion into a profession.
A challenge that may seem insurmountable as YouTube's advertising revenue is a Holy Grail that few achieve.
To get by, you sometimes have to look elsewhere.
It is also in the face of observation that the idea of generating income through a different means was born in the mind of Jack Conte.
In 2013, this American musician realized that he was not going to be able to live off his passion with advertising from YouTube.
He then decides to create a platform on which contributors, in exchange for a financial investment, would have access to privileged content.
Patreon was born.
The crowdfunding site offers its creators the opportunity to have regular income by monthly monthly subscription levels.
For example, if you are a fan of singer and YouTuber Gabbie Hanna, you can send her between € 5 and € 94.50 per month to support her.
For this price, you will be entitled to a whole range of bonuses, videos and songs.
The recipe is the same for podcasters, musicians, designers and all the panoply of personalities who are registered there.
Kindness above all
Ina Mihalache, she opened her account about two and a half years ago, when Patreon was not yet open to the French market.
The one who is better known by her pseudonym Solange speaks to you there, makes stories, records a podcast every month, sometimes organizes lives there, and responds to her subscribers who can write to her directly via an internal messaging system on the site.
If she decided to join Patreon, it is to get away from the minefield that YouTube can sometimes represent.
"As soon as we have a certain exposure and that we produce a little atypical things, we attract all kinds of comments and anonymous people who do not understand the humanity of the creator who is all alone behind", explains the youtubeuse at
The videographer is well aware of the dangers of the platform, she who created her channel nine years ago.
Soon enough, she tried to steer clear of the comments to avoid constantly reading derogatory thoughts.
With Patreon, where only people who symbolically engage and value her work join, the relationship between the designer and her audience is healthier.
"These are people who look like me, who are sensitive and reserved, sometimes a little atypical too", she comments.
Thanks to the payment system, we automatically eliminate haters who have fun posting insults and profanity as soon as a new video is released on YouTube.
"One of the main motivations for having a Patreon page from our creators is the fact that there is much less trolling", assures Thomas Roch, Marketing Director France of Patreon.
The most recalcitrant can push the vice and give money to spread hatred, but this is exceptional.
"It's not a quest, we don't do the round"
In addition to this desire to have a healthier relationship with their community, content creators rely on Patreon to make money.
"Our goal is to ensure that our tool is their main source of income, whether it is recurring income," says Thomas Roch.
How does it work out in practice?
With 360 contributors, Ina Mihalache confides earning the equivalent of a minimum wage.
“Sometimes it's a little more but it's a base.
Lately, it's two-thirds of my income, ”she says.
A book by Amanda Palmer,
The Art of Asking
, allowed the YouTuber to get started.
In it, the author tells how she worked so that artists dare to ask their audiences to finance their art and intends to break the shame of asking for money.
A testimony that resonated with Ina Mihalache and that decided her to register on Patreon.
"This is not a quest, we do not do the sleeve", she claims.
Rather than organizing "ops for very questionable companies" as could do other videographers, Ina Mihalache prefers to clean up everything related to money with her fans: "the creator must assume that he needs to live and he doesn't have to apologize.
Patreon also allows him to overcome the constraints of the race for views, which pushes YouTubers to produce more to earn more.
"When you stop publishing for a few months, you are penalized and it is very hard, notes Solange talking to you.
It puts people in production pressure where we no longer have the time to think about what we are doing and we become machines to produce a flow.
We just reproduce what works and we go crazy.
A platform without stars?
Globally, more than 200,000 creators are registered on Patreon.
The confinement has been beneficial to the platform which has swelled its ranks by 30,000 additional people in recent months.
On the other hand, you will not find the most popular YouTubers in France on the site, which is aimed more at content creators "who have smaller communities", concedes Thomas Roch.
There are exceptions, like Mary from Frozencrystal and her more than 900,000 subscribers, but most of them fall into areas that are hardly trending on YouTube.
"We also have people who talk about masculine elegance, witchcraft, DIY," lists the marketing director.
But this is not the platform for niches, but for all creators.
“Those who do well on YouTube will not go to Patreon because they have the money and the sponsors,” argues Ina Mihalache.
The mainstream is not going to come, they don't need it.
“By opening its doors to musicians, painters, writers and even independent journalists, Patreon allows it to attract a large audience.
In the context of the health crisis, where the cancellations of concerts, exhibitions, shows or events of all kinds follow, other creators could well be tempted by the experience of becoming their own boss.
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