Digital patronage is an emergent revenue model in which fans provide recurring financial support to a content creator, as exemplified through platforms like Twitch and Patreon. Whereas previous research has investigated creator-supporter relationships, the current study investigates creators’ multi-platform practices through in-depth interviews. We build on trends in creative labor studies and communication to examine how creators perceive Patreon and integrate it into their existing workflow. This study’s findings contribute to a better understanding of the role of digital patronage within the broader ecosystem of creative labor platforms.
Digital Patronage Platforms
Digital patronage refers to the act of singular and sustained financial support to a content creator as a form of appreciation for their work and occurs within unique sociotechnical systems that support financial exchange in addition to creative expression. In this paper, we present a competitive analysis of five patronage platforms-- Twitch.tv, YouTube, Patreon, Facebook, and OnlyFans. We describe the financial ecosystems of the five platforms and the perk systems embedded in each of the systems that incentivizes patrons to give support. Digital patronage represents an emerging form of sociotechnical practice that offers an alternative to advertisement-driven business models.
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- Conference Companion Publication of the 2020 on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing
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