For many people, the internet is the place where they can find anything and everything. If you want to learn something new, you wish to be entertained, or you just decide to catch up on the news–the internet is the place. Duh. One thing that we easily forget, however, is that behind all this content are people, creators.
Sponsorship Platforms as an Alternative to Advertising
In years past, talented content creators may have turned to advertising in order to promote themselves and their abilities. But now, the game has changed. Instead of ads, many creators looked for a new way to grab clients’ attention, without annoying them or being intrusive. As big publishers have started to implement subscription- or donation-based approaches, the best independent content creators have begun to using subscription-based platforms to get funding.
How Do Sponsorship Platforms Actually Work?
Today the most popular platform for funding content creators is Patreon. In 2015, Patreon joined forces with Subbable. These two subscription-based platforms were already similar in their function and end goal—to allow content creators a space where they could be easily found and supported.
Patreon provides content creators with a place where their fans can support their work by funding the person behind the project. Patreon delivers a multi-tiered subscription service. Patrons make subscription payments to creators, sometimes paying even more than they do for a Netflix or Amazon subscription. For example, a guitar teacher may provide some basic video lessons for $5 USD a month or a scientist who produces a YouTube video every week may receive $1 USD a month from each subscriber. Individually, patrons may not give much, but collectively they can fund some amazing projects. Patreon takes a 5% cut and the standard 2-3% for processing fees. This deal is pretty good considering that Patreon provides all of the subscription processing and a homepage to interact with fans. This way creative people have an excellent opportunity to launch new projects, dedicate more time to their projects, hire teams, and as a result, provide better content for their patrons.
The Best Independent Content Creators Worth Your Donation
We’ve compiled a list of content creators from the best and most popular Patreon accounts. We encourage you to consider sponsorship if you fall in love with them, too.
Amanda Palmer is one of the most famous art and music creators online today. Once a member of The Dresden Dolls, she is now a solo singer. In 2012, she launched a pre-order Kickstarter campaign for her new album and received $1,192,793 USD in support. In 2015, Amanda began using Patreon. She has a huge following—11,432 patrons and growing. By joining Patreon, she can now create new songs and music, which you can find on her YouTube channel, with greater dedication.
SmarterEveryDay is an educational YouTube channel created by Destin Sandlin. With 5.5 million current subscribers, he is definitely a creator to keep an eye on. Destin explores the world and shares what he’s learned with people all over the planet. In one of his most viewed videos from 2006, he showed viewers how to light a bonfire with rockets. He has even interviewed former President Barack Obama.
Kinda Funny creates different podcasts, YouTube shows, and live streams about popular movies, comics, games, and other “nerdy news.” They are a whole team who are passionate about their work and who can now do their job better thanks to their fans’ support. They are one of the most popular content creators on Patreon, boasting over 6,300 supporters.
Crash Course is an educational YouTube channel started by John and Hank Green. With over 15 courses, 7 million subscribers, and more than 609 million views, Crash Course has become a must-see channel. Students and teachers from all over the world now have the possibility to learn Statistics, World History, Film Studies, or a host of other fascinating topics in a whole new way. Interestingly, wanting to be free from YouTube’s rules and better able to get support from fans, John and Hank Green actually started Subbable, the crowdfunding website mentioned earlier. After being acquired by Patreon, they’ve continued to create outstanding educational content and get support on that platform.
SciShow is a science YouTube channel where you can find answers to almost every science question you can think of. What is gluten? How do essential oils really work? Why do you get hungry? The team of creators find cool ways to answer your wildest science questions and with almost 5 million followers, people obviously can’t get enough.
Phillip DeFranco creates his own late-night style talk show but with a twist. Phillip shares his opinion on current events, pop industry, and politics in a satirical manner, so you can keep up with today’s news without the usual boredom. Thankfully, it’s only one of his many projects. DeFranco also created production company Rogue Rocket to control his projects and content. He now has over 16,000 patrons—not bad for young video-maker.
Of course, it’s a personal choice to sponsor your favorite creators or not. It’s good to keep in mind, however, that there are people out there writing blogs, composing music, shooting educational videos, and creating science shows who trust their communities to help support their work.
Do you sponsor any content creators?