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Title: Beyond fans: The relational labor and communication practices of creators on Patreon
The digital patronage model provides content creators the opportunity to receive sustained financial support directly from their fans. Patreon is a popular digital patronage platform that represents a prime site for the study of creators’ relational labor with their fans. Through in-depth interviews with 21 Patreon creators, this study investigated different types of creator–patron relationships and the perceived benefits and challenges of carrying out relational labor. We found that creators construct a variety of relationships with patrons, ranging from purely transactional to intimately familial. Creators benefit from relational labor in that it encourages patrons to treat the creator as a person rather than a product, resulting in both financial and emotional support. However, creators face difficulties in maintaining appropriate relational boundaries with patrons, some of whom control a substantial part of a creator’s income.
Authors:
; ;
Award ID(s):
1841354
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10302244
Journal Name:
New Media & Society
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
146144482110279
ISSN:
1461-4448
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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