Patreon, a site that allows people to make small monthly payments to their favorite creators, released numbers today that show just how much it’s grown over the past 12 months. (Spoiler: It’s a lot.)
Over the past year, Patreon has doubled the number of active patrons and creators on the platform. The company now has 1 million active patrons (up from 500K in May 2016) and 50,000 active creators using the platform (up from 25,000 in May 2016). Those creators are also making a ton of cash. The company is on track to pay out $150 million to creators this year, as much as the budget for the National Endowment for the Arts. For some perspective, the company paid just $100 million to creators during its first 3.5 years of business combined.
“Despite the popular belief that the internet is a place that rips off artists, we’ve built Patreon to be incredibly creator-first—and that guiding principle is literally paying off for creators,” says Maura Church, data science manager at Patreon. “We’re seeing new creators flock to Patreon faster than ever to create a sustainable salary for their art. And, their fans are stepping up, too: Every 5.5 seconds, a creator gets a new paying patron.”