In recent years, YouTube producers have become increasingly disillusioned with the network. Algorithmic adjustments can degrade the display of films from both new and veteran uploaders, and clips can be demonetized at any time for seemingly no reason. These challenges, along with frequent copyright strikes and video takedowns, have made YouTube an untrustworthy environment in which to grow a business, prompting creators to seek alternative revenue streams, such as Patreon.
Patreon has its flaws, yet it is widely used by YouTubers, artists, and indie game developers of all sorts. Some YouTubers have even stopped running commercials on their channels, relying solely on fan donations via Patreon to keep afloat.
For those creators, the issue of what the point of YouTube is may arise. Why bother with the platform if people can’t locate their videos due to unannounced algorithm changes, and if they can’t earn from ads?
According to The Verge, Patreon is currently attempting to answer this question. Moving forward, the firm intends to develop its own video hosting platform, allowing producers who desire to do so to finally break away from YouTube and other comparable video providers. Patreon CEO Jack Conte said the company’s ultimate goal is to construct a “horizontal architecture” that will allow any creative, regardless of medium or upload type, to build a business around their work.
Part of that is Patreon’s impending video hosting push. Finally, Conte wants his platform to be a one-stop shop for all of a creator’s needs, including money generation, media hosting, and contact with followers. It remains to be seen whether he can realize his objective, but one thing is certain: additional YouTube competitors can’t harm.
Of course, Patreon’s video hosting service will not compete directly with YouTube. We doubt the site’s purpose is to build a fully-featured video hosting platform to which anyone can contribute videos. That would require years of work, and non-Patreon users are unlikely to make the switch.
Patreon, on the other hand, seeks to disrupt Google’s supremacy in a more subtle way: by offering an alternate route to provide content to their audience to a very particular subset of producers (those who do not get the majority of their revenue through YouTube). Patreon essentially eliminates the middleman.