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The Future of Monetizing Creativity: Exploring the Best Subscription Platforms for Online Content Creators

May 11, 2023
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Introduction to Monetizing Creativity Online

Monetization tools can be really powerful for creators who want to diversify their income sources online. Whether you’re a writer, artist, musician, or any other type of creator, you now have the ability to instantly reach millions of people anywhere in the world.

And you’re not the only one who has that ability. There’s billions of photos and videos being posted everyday, which means there’s no shortage of content – then how can you set yourself apart? 

The only ones who get to stay afloat are creators who find a niche audience and take them to a separate subscription platform.bSubscription platforms have transformed the way we consume content and have allowed content creators to focus on their passion instead of relying on traditional sources of revenue.

Additionally, users today have dramatically changed their content consumption habits over the years. Instead of free content on YouTube, users are opting-in for quality paid content from creators they love. Due to this, subscription models have become a popular choice not only for creators but also for their fans.

In this article, we are going to talk about the top membership platforms for online creators. We’ll compare their best features and share tips on how to maximize your earning potential on these platforms. We will also discuss the most common challenges faced by content creators and you can overcome them. The journey to achieve stable monetization online is challenging but very rewarding.

So without further ado, let’s get started!

The Rise of Subscription Platforms for Online Content Creators

social media platform audience overlap

Creators are all shifting to subscription revenue models. Traditional platforms such as YouTube have served creators for decades. However, the site has intense competition – not everyone can generate steady revenue and sometimes, it’s worthwhile to find your niche community.

Subscription platforms are not only for the content creator types. A number of service providers are successfully using membership sites, including digital publishers, software providers (SaaS), and music streaming sites. 

How does the subscription model work?

Creators offer a number of perks to their followers in exchange for a fixed monthly fee. Perks include:

  • Exclusive content
  • The ability to join the creator’s community
  • Special fan benefits and merch

In order, creators get a steady stream of income that doesn’t depend on sponsors or ad placements (that can be tricky and unpredictable).

However, this model compels creators to produce extra, exclusive content in addition to free content.

Work two jobs at the same time

On subscription platforms, audiences need to know that they’re being offered exclusive content that’s not available to free users.

Creators build an audience by posting free content on platforms such as YouTube. However, YouTube alone doesn’t allow you to scale your income.

So, in order to scale and raise additional finance, you’ll have to produce additional exclusive content to convince followers to purchase your premium subscription.

Why Subscription Platforms Work for Some and Fail for Others

hammering nails

While subscription platforms have proven to be one of the most effective ways for creators to turn their passion into a reliable income stream, they can be a double edged sword for new small-sized creators.

A lot of success stories you see on Patreon are creators who started decades ago and had certain factors affecting their success, factors that you might not have access to. 

New creators often end up tied to a very small audience on platforms like Patreon because these platforms require you to produce "extra content" in addition to your usual content on YouTube for your paying subscribers. This takes away time and resources that might make it hard to scale your business (especially if you're just starting out).

To always have scalability, our platform Paysenger incorporates social media and branding features that allow creators to not only get support from their current audience, but also find new ones.

Without needing to combine it with something like YouTube or Instagram, you can roll out free as well as premium content and also add other simultaneous income streams to your portfolio to support your work such as:

  • Paid direct messages
  • On-demand content requests (similar to Cameo)
  • One-off or monthly subscriptions (like Patreon)
  • Organic social media posting (like Instagram)
  • And more

Content Creators and Subscription Platforms: Success Stories

a man can do anything

Creators from all backgrounds, niches and industries continue to use subscription platforms to monetize their work. These platforms offer a number of ways to customize your offering, so creators keep finding a lot of innovative ways to use them.

Amanda Palmer

A musician and songwriter, Amanda Palmer earns more than $50,000 per creation, thanks to her 15,000+ patrons on Patreon. Palmer continues to take requests from audiences and produces highly engaging content – and the fans just seem to keep coming back for more!

Blender Guru

Blender Guru – a well-known YouTube channel, is known for its user-friendly tutorials on how to use the 3D animation software Blender. Blender Guru takes custom content requests and produces premium videos for a fee on Patreon. This model perfectly complements his free content on YouTube, as audiences with specific questions can simply reach out to him for paid advice.

True Crime Obsessed

True Crime Obsessed, a podcast, specializes in humorous commentary on true crime documentaries. They offer followers early access to special episodes, ad-free content, and other perks on Patreon.

Not Using Subscription Platforms? You're Missing Out

athletes on treadmills

There are numerous advantages to using a subscription platform for online content creators that you can't have using traditional revenue models. The very reason subscription platforms were created was to allow creators to find their niche audiences and get financial support from them to keep producing content they love.

Monetization on conventional platforms like YouTube is highly competitive. Most new entrants or small-to-medium size creators will have a very hard time making the same amount of money or scaling their income up to the level of big-time creators who started decades ago. 

Subscription platforms allow you to test the waters and get into the game with enough financial support to grow and keep growing.

Some other benefits of using such platforms include:

Financial Stability

Subscription platforms offer creators a stable and consistent income source. This allows them to work independently of platforms like YouTube and sponsors, having full creative freedom on their craft.

Deeper Connection with Fans

Followers who purchase subscriptions are the most highly engaged of any other platform. They’re invested in the creators' work and can’t wait for more. Platforms bring creators and their audiences closer.

Top Subscription Platforms for Online Content Creators

monetisation of podcast platforms

Each subscription platform comes with unique features and perks that address the need of online creators.

Some of the top subscription platforms to consider are as follows:

Paysenger

create. impact. earn

Paysenger is one of the newest platforms for creators with modern subscription features. The platform combines social media features as well as revenue generation subscription features, allowing creators to monetize their work and market it at the same time.

In addition, Paysenger makes it easier for you to scale your income and find new willing buyers – the platform is in its early growth stages and early adopters get lower competition and more exposure.

Some other features include:

  • On-demand content requests: Instead of committing to a monthly membership, fans can request personalized content such as video, shoutouts and cameos for a price. Paying a one-time fee is a lot better than committing to a monthly subscription for 90% of your audiences (it’s impractical to buy monthly subscriptions to every creator that you like).
  • Subscriptions and exclusive content: You can combine one-off content offers with some subscriptions features. Paysenger allows you to offer early access videos, personalized content, NFTs and other types of exclusive content.
  • Paid direct messages: Every interaction on Paysenger is paid. People can get your attention by paying for a direct message. You get paid each time you respond to someone.
  • Social media features: You can post regularly to attract new followers. You also get paid tokens for creating highly engaging posts or going viral.

Try Paysenger here.

Patreon

With over 200,000 active creators and 6 million active subscribers, Patreon is one of the oldest, most popular subscription platforms.  Creators on Patreon offer multi-tier memberships, each with its own unique benefits, exclusive access, direct messaging features, and more.

Ko-fi

Ko-fi is primarily focused on one-time donations or “coffees”. Recurring monthly payments are also available but most creators prefer to use it for quick single donations. The point is to allow fans to support someone by “buying them a coffee” without any strict commitment or obligations (on both sides).

OnlyFans

OnlyFans is super popular among adult artists. However, other types of creators, such as musicians and artists have benefitted from it equally. This platform empowers creators to generate income by distributing their content to a closed group of ‘fans’.

Features to Consider When Choosing a Subscription Platform

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When picking a subscription model, creators must keep these things in mind:

Commission Fees

Every subscription platform takes a cut of creator earnings. Always review the commission rates in detail before making a choice.

Customization and Flexibility

Customization is equally important. Check the customization options available to you so you can craft multi-level subscription plans and offers to your liking.

Payment Processing

Pick a platform that offers your preferred payment options. Payment methods available sometimes vary depending on which country you’re based in.

Also – platforms such as Patreon have a threshold withdrawal system – meaning you can only withdraw your earnings when your account reaches a certain income milestone. Paysenger, on the other hand, lets you withdraw whenever you want.

support from fans

Audience and Niche

A number of subscription platforms provide access to specific types of content. It is wise for content creators to consider a platform that resonates with their content and audience needs.

Tips for Maximizing Earnings on Subscription Platforms

the girl thinks about money

To make the most of subscription platforms, the content creators should note down these tips:

Offer Exclusive Content

The online creators should make the audience feel valued by tailoring the content to their preferences. This can be achieved by providing them with exclusive access to behind-the-curtain footage, a tour of your working space and other premium offers.

Engage with Your Audience

Creators should use social media to establish deeper, closer connections to the community. This can be achieved by being active in comment sections, replying to DMs and engaging with them.

On Paysenger, by the way, you can also earn for replying to DMs. So, connecting to the community on the platform is actually worthwhile, even monetarily.

Experiment with Pricing and Tiers

As a creator, you should be open to experimenting with different pricing models and tiers. You’ll never know which combination works the best until you try many of them first.

Challenges and Potential Drawbacks of Subscription Models

girls filming themselves on a smartphone

Subscription platforms, while offering opportunities to their creators, often come with their own set of challenges for them:

Maintaining & Expanding Your Follower Base

For online content creators, especially the newer ones, it can be difficult to grow their follower base. That’s mainly because new creators are not equipped with the right tools and support from the start. Many people don’t know about this but big platforms, such as YouTube generally place harsher requirements and restrictions on new accounts. This makes it harder for you to reach a certain stage where you can create a stable source of traction and income.

Balancing Quality and Quantity

For new creators, developing high-quality content consumes a lot of time and effort, which is often difficult to keep up with if you don’t have the resources. That’s why working with subscription platforms might not be a good idea in the beginning. Basically, platforms like Patreon require you to offer “exclusive” content to your subscribers that is not available to those who consume your content for free.

This causes you to work extra. For example, creators have to work on free content to find traction on YouTube (which needs to be very high quality) and then work even more to produce exclusive premium content on Patreon.

This is the only way to ensure stable income from both platforms. You can’t pick one over the other because: a) you can’t get Patreon followers unless you attract followers on YouTube and; b) YouTube ad revenue is not stable, you need Patreon to earn money to be able to make high quality content.

Conclusion

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Subscription platforms play a major role in helping creators express themselves without going broke. We continue to see newer creator platforms that offer convenient ways to raise finance.

The biggest upcoming trend is going to be Microtransactions. Almost every creator on YouTube has some sort of subscription or exclusive service – this has caused stagnation in the market.

Fans are now looking for newer ways to connect with their favorite creators. Microtransactions allow fans to express themselves better without breaking their banks. 

Paysenger is a new platform that supports microtransactions. Fans on the platform can easily send paid direct messages or personalized requests for content without needing to commit to a subscription.

Sign up on Paysenger and monetize your content skills in 2023. Sell content on demand, respond to direct messages with rewards, design subscription plans for exclusive content, get access to sponsors from a diverse range of industries and much more. Download Paysenger now and convert your passion into a steady income!

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Jun 25, 2024
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