Patreon as a model has been extremely irritating in the furry community for quite a while now. Originally starting as a monthly tip jar for friends and artists, it’s quickly become abused for the sake of bilking money out of patrons. I’ve tried to avoid it for so long, I really have, but it has gotten to the point where I can’t play along with this ludicrous model and I’m unable to stop myself being affected by its rising popularity. I’m going to start labeling these Patreon techniques wildly used as “Naytreons”, and you should too.
Is your Patreon a Naytreon? Let’s find out with some examples:
- Raffles – This has essentially the same problems as any lottery. To win the average person would have to spend way more than the prize is worth. It’s misleading and unethical. These are extremely common with furry Patreons.
- Exclusive commissions – Trying to secure a commission slot to pay an artist to draw for you is difficult with competition normally. Now with the advent of Patreon, you have to pay in order to compete with the 50 other people who pay for a chance at a commission. Your chances have actually decreased because everyone who wants a commission is now paying for that chance. Why are we PAYING for a CHANCE to pay the artist?
- Hard paywalls – This is a business model that doesn’t even work for conglomerations of furry artists. Do you know how many people subscribe to HardBlush nowadays? They are operating at a loss now, and their personal image is the only valuable thing they have left. It also sucks for your fans who aren’t interested in joining the equivalent of a one-person paysite. Also anyone who wants to bypass it just has to go to Yiff.Party and don’t even bother with tools to ‘invisible watermark’ your stuff nowadays. This isn’t 2008, there are neural networks that will complete annihilate any invisible watermarking.
- Soft paywalls – For when you don’t want to look like a paywall. Everything is posted online, but at tiny, jpeg compressed resolution. Wake-up call for you guys, it’s 2018, on modern displays 1280×1280 is the size of the start menu on your computer. Did you also know that Waifu2x is going to put this model out of business soon? That’s right, a neural net that upscales artwork to visible resolutions and removes jpeg compression artifacts.
Patreon is also pure evil when it comes to collecting payments. It performs some nasty tricks to try and keep you subscribed. Have a look at the cancellation process:
- When you go to cancel, Patreon will attempt to bill you for the remainder of a month for content you’ve already accessed.
- Sounds fair right? No. I joined a pledge on May 28th, billed June 1st and it’s July 1st today. I’m exiting before I’m billed for another month.
- Because of this, Patreon tried to bill me anyway, and was forcing me to choose between keeping my pledge or wasting money on a month’s membership that I don’t even fucking GET.
- The only way to get around this is to remove Patreon payments on your PAYPAL account and allow the payment to bounce.
- No doubt someone is going to get a notification that I bounced a payment and call me a scammer. Well, fuck you patreon, you permanently stick your users in a state of don’t cancel, or burn money to leave.
- This kind of shit is regularly pulled by other evil subscription services like your ISP and phone company.
I can honestly say that I don’t want to ever get involved in the mess that is Patreon ever again. I’d rather artist commission prices be higher than pay for the chance to receive the privilege of giving them more money.
And fuck this paywall nonsense, I’m not going to pay for all of the 5000 different personal paywalls that you artists put up, even your pledgers likely use Yiff.Party for other patreons because there’s no other choice when you’re already spending up to your limit on bypassing paywalls.
What a sad state of affairs.