Business News Deals Management & Funding

Patreon acquires rival voluntary subscription site Subbable

By | Published on Wednesday 18 March 2015


Crowdfunding site Patreon has acquired video subscription service Subbable, with the two merged companies expected to bring in more than $25 million from their users this year, according to Forbes.

Launched in 2013, Patreon is a website that allows users to ‘subscribe’ to specific creators signed up to the site. A person states how much they wish to pay each time a creator creates something (within certain limits), and that money is passed over to the creator when their creation is created. The content is not actually distributed through the site – it generally being freely available online.

This system works particularly well for episodic content, such as podcasts, providing a system for voluntary subscriptions. Though Patreon recently hit the news when Amanda Palmer signed up, quickly gaining donations from her ever-engaged following that means she will now receive almost $30,000 every time she creates a “thing”.

Patreon CEO Jack Conte told Music Ally earlier this month: “The fact that she’s going to be communicating with her fans and hanging out with them using Patreon software, more than anything to me, is a tremendous responsibility. She’s going to push the boundaries of our platform, and find the holes where it doesn’t feel like being on-stage. We’re going to have to build things that satisfy her, and that’s a good way for us to step up”.

Subbable also launched in 2013, founded by YouTube stars Hank and John Green. It allows users to subscribe to the output of video creators, either for free or paid (creators then decide which content is only available to paying subscribers). The idea is that it provides a more sustainable platform for niche video makers, for whom the ad-funded model is less suited.

According to Forbes, the merger of the two companies came when Subbable was told that the 12,500 users paying for content on its system would have to re-authorise their subscriptions on Amazon Payments due to a change on the payments platform.

Worried that this would lead to a significant fall in paying users, Hank Green asked Conte for advice, who suggested that the two companies join together in order for the larger to manage the transition.