Patreon says the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have reached its platform. In a blog post today, the company said more than 30,000 creators signed up for an account in the first few weeks of March. These creators are likely independent artists who have been particularly impacted by government restrictions of large gatherings, as well as restaurant and business closings.
The company also says the average new patron growth across the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Australia, and Italy is up 36.2 percent compared to February, which could suggest that people are seeking out ways to support their favorite creators. The report doesn’t give any concrete numbers about the number of patrons that have signed up in the past few weeks and instead only offers some graphs and charts.
At the same time, the company has seen more people delete their pledges, and “some” of those people cited COVID-19 as the reason. Again, it doesn’t provide concrete numbers or percentages even in this case, although it notes that the gain in fan support outweighs people’s cancellations.
Patreon’s report is relatively expected during this time. Of course, as businesses close, independent creators are seeking ways to recoup revenue, whether it be through donation-based live streams or ongoing membership support on services like Patreon. It’s disheartening to hear that some people are canceling their memberships, but that also lines up with what we’d expect. The economic outlook for the US and world is grim right now, which is prompting people to tighten their budgets. Patreon gives independent creators the power to reach their fans, but if those fans are out of a job, the platform is at risk, too.
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