Paywalls are a major way for content-focused websites to promote payment for their work. The casual blogger or comedy podcaster, on the other hand, has a lot harder time making money. Fan funding site Patreon is now endeavoring to change that.
Founded in 2013, Patreon provides a platform on which creators can receive monthly or per-project donations from their fans, giving artists more reliable salaries and the freedom to focus more on their work—and less on drumming up funds. With the launch of its new app directory on Wednesday, artists using Patreon can use WordPress plug-ins to extend their reach beyond the boundaries of Patreon.com.
Fans can now sign up on an artist's website to make recurring contributions, and creators can restrict content pages to be available to paying supporters only. This is effectively allowing easy paywall implementation on any WordPress site. Other plug-ins will allow for direct support of artists through MailChimp-powered newsletters, Patreon exclusive Discord voice and chat servers, and Patreon-only live-streaming through Crowdcast.
Patreon has grown tremendously since 2016, doubling both the donators and the artists using the site, to over one million patrons and over 50,000 artists. These new tools are, of course, aimed at boosting that growth even further. But perhaps more important, they are increasing the means by which creators can be paid for their work.