Patreon 2016: The Reckoning

(Artist's rendering.)

Last November, I launched a Patreon campaign, wherein patrons contribute $1 (or more) per month and I review as many new films as I reasonably can. As we conclude the first full year of this new system, I figured patrons were owed an accounting.

Total Patreon funds received (minus Patreon’s fees): $6,774.54.
Patreon-funded reviews*: 143.
What patrons, as a group, paid per review: $47.37.
What individual patrons who paid $1 a month paid per review: 8.3¢

(*I wrote 164 reviews total, but 21 of them were paid for by other entities. For comparison’s sake, I wrote 104 reviews in 2015, and 103 in 2014. The last time I wrote more than 164 was 2009.)

That nice, round $47.37 is close to what some professional websites pay, but less than most. Nonetheless, I am grateful to the individual patrons who supported this effort in 2016 and who I hope will continue to do so in 2017. And I hope they consider their individual rate — just over 8¢ a review! — to be worth it.

(Obviously, those who are paying more than $1 a month are paying more per review. I am proportionately more grateful to those people.)

The Future

The Patreon campaign will continue in 2017. The principle remains the same: I write reviews of my own volition (“on spec,” as they say in the biz) and post them to my website for all to see; readers, if they so choose, sign up to drop $1 in the tip jar every month.

There isn’t a set number of reviews that I promise to deliver, though you can see that I average about three a week. If the monthly Patreon haul gets up to $800, I’ll guarantee a review of every new wide release. (I reviewed 123 wide releases in 2016, missing 37 of them.) Failing that, I’ll continue to review as many as I can while balancing my other freelance work and Sexiest Man Alive duties.

Mind you, I don’t want anyone to increase their contribution. I don’t think anyone should pay more than $1 a month. I just think more people should do that.

I’ve lined up a new gig in 2017 that’ll be paying for one review a week, but the rest will still need to be patron-funded. So if you’ve been on the fence about this, or wanted to wait and see how things went, or did not begin using money until very recently, now’s a great time to become a patron.

It’s very easy: you give Patreon your credit card info, indicate your pledge amount (seriously, $1 is enough), and they charge you at the beginning of each month. You can cancel or change it any time you want.

My sincere thanks to those who are patrons or about to become patrons. Crowdfunding is still an experimental new idea in a changing economy, and I appreciate your willingness to go along with it.

And heck, even if you’re not a patron, thanks for being a reader! I appreciate that, too.