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Is Patreon Free? Answered & Explained For Creators + Patrons

By Matthew Vultaggio

January 3, 2022

If you are an artist or musician looking to be a creator on Patreon or if you want to view content on Patreon, I’ve researched exactly what Patreon offers for free to both creators and patrons.

Patreon is free to set up as there are no upfront fees or sign-up costs. However, you will need to pay Patreon 5% – 12% of the monthly income you earn on Patreon in addition to any payment processing fees from PayPal or credit card companies.

The amount you pay depends on what Patreon plan you are on as well as which tier your Patron chooses, what currency they pay in, and how they choose to make their payment.

In addition to this, Patreon does not offer the ability to create free tiers or allow people to join as a patron for a $0 pledge. Instead, people can follow your Patreon profile for free and view posts that you set to ‘public’ as the creator.

To learn more about the real fees that come with being a creator on Patreon as well as how people can view Patreon posts for free, simply keep on reading, my friend. 🙂

P.S. If you don’t want to use Patreon and would like to see how Patreon compares to other alternatives, check out my article called Patreon Alternatives: How To Pick The Right Membership Platform. 🙂

Patreon Fees Fully Explained

Although Patreon is free to sign up for and get started, any creator planning on using Patreon will need to pay creator and payment processing fees in addition to any costs associated with delivering on what you offer to your patrons.

Patreon’s fees can be easily divided into 2 categories:

  1. Patreon Creator Fees: a percentage of the monthly income you earn on Patreon (based on the plan you are on) that is to be paid to Patreon
  2. Payment Processing Fees: a percentage and flat rate of each transaction based on which tier your Patron chooses, what currency they pay in, and how they choose to make payment which is automatically paid out to the payment processing company

For a more detailed look at these different fees, simply keep on reading or check out my full article on Patreon Pricing, Plans & Fees, my friend. 🙂

Patreon’s Creator Fees Explained

Patreon creator fees are a percentage of the monthly income you earn on Patreon (based on the Patreon plan you are on) that is to be paid to Patreon.

Patreon’s Lite plan: charges you 5% of the monthly income you earn on Patreon and gives you very basic features such as a Patreon page and communication tools.

Patreon’s Pro plan: charges you 8% of the monthly income you earn on Patreon and also gives you the ability to create membership tiers and get analytics.

Patreon’s Premium plan: charges you 12% of the monthly income you earn on Patreon and also gives you the ability to add merch for memberships and team accounts.

Patreon’s Payment Processing Fees Explained

Patreon’s payment processing fees are a percentage and flat rate of each transaction that is to be paid out to the payment processing company that your Patron uses to make their payment.

These processing fees are based on which tier your Patron chooses, what currency they pay in, and how they choose to make payment.

For a patron paying in US dollars, you will be charged 2.9% and $0.30 if their payment is over $3 or 5% and $0.10 if their payment is $3 or less.

In addition to this, you will need to pay a 1% surcharge for any payment made from a patron that is using PayPal from outside of the United States.

Does Patreon Offer Free Trials?

Patreon does not offer free trials for creators or for patrons. Creators can sign up and get started free as well as make Patreon posts “public” as a way to offer that to people for free.

Patreon does not provide creators an option to give free memberships, gift memberships, or give free access to any patron-only content.

Can You Offer Free Tiers On Patreon?

Patreon does not offer the ability to create free tiers or allow people to join as a patron for a $0 pledge. Instead, people can follow your Patreon profile to be notified when you create a new post and view posts that are set to ‘public’.

Anyone following you without paying for a tier will not have any access to benefits and will show up in your Patreon’s Relationship Manager as “No tier” patrons.

Only patrons that are pledging at least $1 per month will be able to get access to any benefits including access to any content that you have set as
‘patron-only’ instead of ‘public’, seeing users in the “Supported by…” section of your page or accessing any ‘Featured tags’ content.

Patreon is essentially a content management system and checkout process for recurring memberships, so most of their features are dedicated towards membership and not follows.

Can Patrons See Patreon Posts & Videos Without Paying Anything?

It is not possible for patrons to see posts and videos for free unless the creator has specifically set that post to be ‘public’ on Patreon. Patrons can view any Patreon posts that a creator has set as ‘public’ by visiting the creator’s Patreon page.

When non-patrons view your Patreon page, they will find your 20 most recent posts under your ‘about’ section and will only be able to access posts that are set to ‘public’.

In addition to this, non-patrons can scroll down to the bottom of the page, select ‘See all posts’, and choose to filter out the posts by which are ‘public’.

It is also worth mentioning that any files or attachments in posts that are set to ‘public’ may not be downloadable unless the person is logged into a personal Patreon account.

3rd Party Tools For Viewing Locked Patreon Posts

Although the official Patreon system is set up so that only posts that are set to ‘public’ can be viewed by non-patrons, you should be aware that there are 3rd party tools and websites that aim to make patron-only content freely viewable.

There are some websites that scrape and archive patron-only Patreon posts either automatically or manually by users and it can be possible for people to find patron-only content on torrent websites as well as public and private forums.

Is The Patreon App Free?

The Patreon app is available for free to both creators as well as fans and patrons. With the free Patreon app, you can log in as a creator to create and share posts, leave comments and replies, as well as access analytics and insights.

From the same free Patreon app, users can log in as a fan/patron to stay up to date on your new posts, leave comments and replies, join live chats, as well as discover and follow your Patreon page in the first place.

Some of my favorite music marketing tools

Thank you for reading this article, my friend, and I hope you found it helpful as you build your own successful career in music. 🙂

Here is a list of my favorite and most recommended tools and resources that I’ve personally used to get my music streamed over 4,000,000 times on Spotify as an artist.

Any of the paid services or tools listed here are most likely affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I’ll earn a small commission.

But in all honesty, these are the exact tools that I personally use, love, and recommend to anyone – including my own friends and family.

Music Distribution

To get your music on Spotify on all the other streaming services, I use DistroKid because you get unlimited song uploads for a low annual price.

If you want to learn more about DistroKid and music distribution, check out the in-depth DistroKid review that I’ve put together.

Or, if you want to get started with DistroKid right now, you can save on your first year with the DistroKid discount.

Facebook Ads For Spotify Success

Although Facebook Ads can be a real pain to get working properly, there is no denying that they are incredible for growing Spotify streams and getting your music in front of real fans.

This is why I’ve put together a completely free course that you can check out called Facebook Ads For Musicians’ Spotify Streams. 🙂

Music Publishing Royalties Collection

For collecting all of the publishing, mechanical, and live performance royalties owed to me whenever my music gets streamed or played, my go-to is Songtrust.

Songtrust is a publishing administration company which means that in addition to collecting all of those royalties for me, they do it on a global level.

To learn if Songtrust is right for you, I’d recommend checking out this article on Songtrust vs BMI.

And if you want to get started with Songtrust right now, I’d recommend learning about the Songtrust discount code so that you can get the best price. 🙂

Website & Smart Links

I’m personally not a big fan of the link-in-bio and smart links for music pages like ToneDen and Hyppeddit.

Instead, I prefer having a full-blown WordPress website that allows me to have a full website in addition to unlimited music links.

For getting started with this, I really like Bluehost because it is the cheapest and a theme called Thrive Themes because it is the most flexible and easiest to use.

I’ve actually created a free Smart Links Course that you can take to learn how to get set up and start getting more streams with custom smart links (I’ve even included the templates I am using!).

Want more tools and resources for your music career?

If you’d like to see even more of my favorite marketing tools and resources for musicians and music artists, I’ve created an even larger list on this page: Best Marketing Tools & Resources For Musicians (& Music Artists).

P.S. There are even some free tools and resources included on that page as well! 🙂

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