Are you an artist or creator looking for alternative platforms to showcase your work and earn some income? Patreon has been a popular choice for many, but there are other options out there worth exploring.
From Ko-Fi to Flattr, these 10 Patreon alternatives offer different features and benefits to suit your needs. Whether you're a musician, writer, or visual artist, there's a platform that will cater to your unique style and audience.
In this article, we'll explore the pros and cons of each platform and highlight their key features, so you can make an informed decision on which one is right for you. So, let's dive in and discover the best Patreon alternatives for artists and creators!
Ko-Fi recently became quite popular as it lets creators receive payments from their fans free of platform fees. It's a simple and easy-to-use platform, quite similar to Buy Me a Coffee, that's perfect for creators who don't want to commit to a monthly subscription model.
Fans can either donate using virtual “coffee” tokens that cost $3 each or make individual donations. These tokens can be earned by performing actions or by participating in certain events. Creators can set up a free account and start accepting payments immediately. The best part about Ko-Fi is that it doesn't take commission on one-time donations that creators receive from fans. Instead, it charges a 5% flat fee on merch sales, commission sales and memberships.
Although, there’s a "Gold Membership" that removes the 5% fee for $6 per month. Gold also offers additional features, such as the ability to get a shorter username and private fan-only posts. Creators can also feature their “Portfolio” on Ko-Fi, which allows you to showcase your work and receive feedback from fans.
Unlike Patreon, Ko-Fi has an Explore page where people can look for new creators to subscribe to.
- Membership options
- Set crowdfunding goals
- Send donation alerts
- No transaction fees
- Gold Membership that’s actually useful
Free of charge, with premium Gold Membership features starting from $6 per month. According to statistics, Gold members can earn 7.2x more on average.
Flattr is a platform that allows creators to receive "microdonations" from their fans. It's a unique concept that's based on the idea of a "flat rate" for content consumption. Fans can set a monthly budget for their content consumption, and Flattr distributes their budget among the creators they support based on the amount of engagement they receive.
The platform is completely ad-free. Creators don't have to worry about their content being monetized by third-party advertisers. It takes a small cut on payments from fans, but this is only 10%, which is lower than many other platforms. Flattr also has a feature called "Flattr Plus," which allows fans to automatically distribute their budget among the creators they support based on their engagement. This lets you support multiple creators without having to manually distribute your budget each month.
- One of the lowest platform fees
- “Flat rate” content consumption
- Engagement-based earnings
- Completely ad-free
Flattr earns 10% commission on payouts to creators.
Buy Me A Coffee
Buy Me A Coffee is one of the oldest and most popular creator monetization platforms.
It allows creators to receive one-time payments, or "coffees," from their fans. It's similar to Ko-Fi in many ways, but it has some additional features that make it stand out. One of the advantages of Buy Me A Coffee is that it allows creators to sell digital products, such as ebooks, courses, and artwork. Buy Me A Coffee’s Membership features allows creators to offer exclusive content and perks to their fans for a monthly fee.
Just like Ko-Fi (and unlike Patreon), the primary focus of Buy Me A Coffee is on one-time quick donations to say thanks to your favourite creator. It works the best if you consider it a payment processor for donations because it’s easy to set up and your fans can make payments quickly without even needing to set up an account.
However, if you’re looking for long-term recurring payments then consider other options in this list.
- Built in merchandise shop
- Membership features
- Quick and easy to set up
- One of the oldest, most well-known platforms
Buy Me a Coffee has a fixed 5% transaction fee. Creators keep 95% of their earnings.
Liberapay positions itself as a recurrent crowdfunding platform. It's a simple and easy-to-use platform that's perfect for artists who want to set up a reliable source of income. It doesn’t offer one-time donations. When users are setting up a donation, they need to choose an amount, a recurring period (weekly, monthly or yearly) and then a renewal method.
Liberapay is completely open source and transparent. Creators can see exactly how much money they're receiving and where it's coming from. Liberapay also doesn't take a commission on the payments that creators receive, but it does rely on donations from its users to keep the platform running.Another interesting feature is called “Teams”, using which creators pool their resources to receive donations in collaboration with others.
This is a great way to collaborate with other artists and offer something of value to your fans.
- Fully transparent, free of transaction fees
- Great for recurrent donations, does not offer one-time payments
- Open source, crowdfunded platform
- Allows NSFW creators
- Allows payments per week
There are no fees except payment processing fees (charged by third-party processors).
Steady has great features for creators who are just starting out. It’s completely free to set up and allows you to use its newsletter and publication tools free of cost. The platform only starts charging you when you start making money. Steady has solid payment processing and transparent pricing as well as dedicated features for creators to promote themselves on the platform by posting content or sending out newsletters.
The platform focuses on recurring memberships, and collects payments from fans on a monthly or annual basis. It’s a solid platform if you’re looking for the bare minimum – reliable payment processing and simple broadcasting features.
- Built-in features to collaborate with other creators
- Multi-tier memberships
- Additional perks and benefits in each membership tier
- Start your own publication for free
- Transparent pricing
Steady charges 10% as platform fees and 5% payment processing fees. In addition to that, members also pay VAT on each donation.
Tipeee is a platform that allows creators to collect “Tips” from their fans to finance one-off projects or to collect recurring payments “all year round”.Tipeee allows creators to set up different types of recurring payments, such as monthly, per creation or per project. This is a great way to offer flexibility to your fans and encourage them to support you in a way that works for them.
With Tipeee Events, creators can set up live events and sell tickets to their fans. Live stream “tipping” features can easily be integrated with other platforms as well, where incoming tips are displayed in real-time during streams.
- Create online events, sell tickets
- Integrates with Live Streams on Twitch, YouTube and Facebook
- Embedding features to collect payments on blog or websites
- Personalized rewards that automatically roll out prizes based on the amount tipped by the fan
Tipeee takes 8% commission including tax on all collected amounts each month. It pays out earnings on a monthly basis, and all features are available for free.
Probably the most unique platform in the list, Paysenger is a collaborative social marketplace that offers many ways for creators to monetize. Other platforms mainly require creators to find their own audiences and “ask” for support in their content.
Paysenger gamifies the entire process where users pay their favorite creators using a crypto token called EGO for various purchases. It also combines various monetization tools, such as:
Fans can easily reach out to their favorite creators and request videos, photos or other types of on-demand content. Creators get paid for fulfilling these requests, and can advertise “what they can do” for fans on their profiles using Paysenger’s interface.
Creators can offer premium access to their most devoted followers through subscriptions. Subscriptions can be one-time or monthly, and can be paid for using both EGO tokens and real money.
Digital asset trading
Paysenger adds Web3 elements into the mix. Every piece of content produced by creators can be minted into NFTs. The platform has a built-in NFT marketplace, where these NFTs can be traded for money. Fans who buy on-demand content from famous creators can also mint their purchases into NFTs and profit from resales.
Since EGO tokens can be earned directly on the platform for performing tasks or participating in events, users can support their favorite creators without real money. Of course, tokens can easily be withdrawn or exchanged for real money by creators who’d like to cash in.
- Innovative one-size-fits-all monetization model
- Built-in system that encourages fans to donate
- All posts get minted into NFTs
- Royalties from NFT resales
- Automated gamified “daily tasks” that keep fans engaged and motivated to donate to their favorite creators
- Social networking features, big audience outreach
Paysenger charges 20% on withdrawals through its own platform. However, tokens can be exchanged for real money without paying the platform fees if you trade using NFTs or external exchanges.
SubscribeStar is a decent platform with all the necessary features every creator needs.
The focus of this service is also on recurring monthly subscriptions. It has Google Ads integration features, polls, interactive goals, ability to embed videos from YouTube into your posts, creator Discovery features and paid exposure.
Just like Patreon, you can configure different member tiers and offer content based on donation size or membership type. Another advantage that sets SubscribeStar apart is its payment gateway – Dropp that offers lower microtransaction charges than major processors.
With "Pay Per View," you can sell individual pieces of content, such as videos or articles, to their fans. This is similar to Paysenger’s on-demand content or Cameo’s celebrity video requests.
- Discord integration and full Webhooks API support
- Google Analytics integration, as well as detailed analytics of your SubscribeStar page
- Dropp payments – 30% lower transaction fees
- Payouts via financial instruments other than ordinary currencies
Creators or “Stars” on the platform set their Subscription Fee themselves while registering. The upper limit is $100.
Transaction fees for subscription payments as well as tips are: 2.9% + $0.3 up to $30
3.5% + $0.3 for amounts greater than $30
Kickstarter is a well-known website that has been used extensively by creators as well as others to crowdfund various projects. It's a great way to raise money for a specific project, such as an album, film or a book, and offer something of value to your fans in return.
Kickstarter usually allows creators to raise money at a faster pace. That’s because it allows creators to set funding goals and deadlines that create a sense of urgency to encourage fans to make donations quickly.
This platform works a lot better for specific projects that are highly detailed and sought-after by your audiences. Of course, it works best if you’re able to market your project on other platforms such as YouTube to generate traffic to your Kickstarter page.
Creators can maximize their earnings by using a feature called “Stretch Goals”, which basically offers additional rewards to fans for exceeding funding goals. Kickstarter does take a commission on the funds that creators receive, but it's a flat 5%, which is lower than many other crowdfunding platforms.
- Curated homepage, where fans can find projects to support
- Promotion of featured projects by the Kickstarter team
- Search projects based on category and location
- One of the oldest, best-known crowdfunding platforms
Fees might vary country to country. Generally, the company takes 5% of total funds raised. It charges additional 3% + $0.20 per pledge (in the US) as transaction fees. Pledges under $10 have a lower transaction fee of 5% + $0.05 per pledge.
Gumroad is an ideal platform for creators who are primarily looking to sell digital products, such as ebooks, courses, and artwork. It lets you market your offering, set up an account and get access to most features for free. You’ll only have to pay fees once your merch or digital goods start selling.
On Gumroad, you can create an online shop and pick your own prices. Creators keep 90% of the revenue they generate. Creators can showcase their work and offerings on Gumroad Discover, which gives you access to a wider audience and increased visibility.
- Catered towards “selling stuff”, like courses, ebooks, artworks and the like
- Memberships for podcasts, online courses or SaaS subscriptions
- Fully-featured store editor to create an online store
- Domain-linking features to connect your domain to your Gumroad store
- Externally embeddable payment platform
- Generate license keys for software sales
10% flat commission on every sale, no monthly fees.
Which platform is best for you?
Choosing the right platform for your art and audience depends on a variety of factors, such as your content type, your audience size, and your monetization goals. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a Patreon alternative:
- Payment structure: Do you want to receive one-time payments, recurring payments, or a combination of both?
- Commission rates: How much of your earnings do you want to give up to the platform?
- Membership tiers: Do you want to offer different levels of membership, each with its own set of perks and benefits?
- Digital products: Do you want to sell digital products, such as ebooks, courses, and artwork?
- Community features: Do you want to build a community around your art and offer something of value to your fans?
Once you've considered these factors, you can choose the platform that best suits your needs and start building a sustainable source of income for your art.
Patreon is a popular platform for artists and creators, but it's not the only option out there. From Ko-Fi to Flattr, these 10 Patreon alternatives offer different features and benefits to suit your needs. Whether you're a musician, writer, or visual artist, there's a platform that will cater to your unique style and audience.
Most platforms in this list (as well as Patreon) mostly act as intermediary services or payment processors, which means you’ll have to bring your audiences from other sites like YouTube and Instagram.
Paysenger is the only option that offers social networking and promotion features where you can grow your audience without leaving the platform.
In addition, the Paysenger team is currently working on a unique AI that will protect artists and other creators from the negative impact of neural networks on the industry and help them earn money. This AI is being developed by professionals in collaboration with Dr. Tamay Aykut, who was previously a professor at Stanford.
By exploring these alternatives, you can find the platform that best suits your needs and start building a sustainable source of income for your art.