As the battle for top content creators to produce, and share the best work on a specific service continues to grow increasingly competitive, It wouldn’t be surprising to see these companies finally build native Patreon like functionality right on top of their existing services. The web is a better place when creators can focus on making the best stuff, and we the fans can easily pay for it. If you make it easier for people to pay for content, they will actually start supporting it with real money, rather than sitting through today’s prevalent interruptive, and irrelevant advertising. It will be exciting to see if emerging technologies like Bitcoin, Apple Pay, and others can help accelerate the reality of this vision.
There has arguably never been a greater time to be a content creator, and definitely never a better time to be a content consumer. Content consumers have endless options when searching for something to entertain, educate, or distract them. Whether it be blog posts, YouTube videos, Vine clips, Twitter commentators, on the ground citizen journalists streaming via Periscope, or independent filmmakers, technology has made it possible for creators to create content more easily than ever before, while being able to connect with audiences quicker, cheaper, and on a larger scale than had ever been possible before either. But like much of the history of the internet, properly compensating these creators still has a long way to go. Advertising revenue is not sufficient.
With the big players- Facebook, Google, and Twitter battling one another to capture talent for their services, while simultaneously competing with emerging services like Snapchat and Medium, and SoundCloud it’s worth exploring the idea of building native capabilities for users to financially support their favorite content creators. It’s increasingly becoming commonplace to see makers insert links to Patreon with their content, encouraging people to support the work financially, but this process still has too much friction, and requires users to exit the environment they are currently having an experience inside. If you’re a service that wants to attract, and retain the best talent, it should be a top priority to build services that allow them to continue producing great work.