Patreon has built a business on helping creators like podcasters monetize their work. But it is also getting into the original content business. Bloomberg reports that after it raised $155 million earlier this year, Patreon has been courting podcasters to make content that will appear live on its app before being distributed more broadly.
It is not just podcasters that Patreon is said to be approaching. It reportedly is also looking to work with YouTubers, celebrities and live-streaming gamers. The move marks a shift for Patreon which has until now not been focused on creating its own content. It comes as the eight-year old company is said to be considering going public. Bloomberg says the latest round of fundraising pegged the value of Patreon at $4 billion.
“We focused on that foundational layer for many years, the whole first chapter of the company, and now it’s quite clear that creators want better native media features,” said Patreon CEO Jack Conte. He told Bloomberg that podcasters and other creators will benefit by working with a single company that will not only publish their content but also has the back-end services and monetization tools they need.
The company is hiring engineers and product executives to build new tools for its move into content.
Patreon faces more competition than ever as content creators have more options to monetize their work as more outlets offer ways for listeners to offer financial support their favorite podcasts. And it’s not just in podcasting. YouTube and Instagram have also added tipping features and startups like OnlyFans and Substack have made it easier for creators to get paid for their work.
“They’re all literally copying Patreon,” said Conte, telling Bloomberg he has not seen much of an impact on Patreon’s business so far. But as his company looks at becoming a content distributor itself, Patreon too seems to be stealing a page from his rival’s playbook.