May 20, 2024

Question of the Day [AAPI Heritage Month]: Sam Yam created the platform Patreon to facilitate subscription-based income for what careers?

His platform only takes about a 5% cut of each pledge, compared to a 45% cut of revenue at Youtube.


Answer: Artists, musicians, and content creators 


What is Patreon?
Patreon is a membership platform that makes it easy for creators to get paid.

For creators
Patreon is a way to get paid for creating the things you're already creating (webcomics, videos, songs, podcasts.) Fans can pay you monthly or per post you release, depending on the payment schedule you choose.

For patrons
Patreon is a way to join your favorite creator's community and pay them for making the stuff you love. Instead of throwing money at your screen (trust us, that doesn't work), you can now pay creators once a month or per thing the creator makes. This means the creator gets paid regularly, and you become a bonafide, real-life patron of the arts. That's right-Imagine you in a long frilly white wig, painted on a 10-foot canvas on the wall of a Victorian mansion. And imagine your favorite creators making a living doing what they do best because of you.



  • Would you ever subscribe to support your favorite artists, musicians, and content creators on a platform like Patreon? Why or why not?
  • What are some benefits of supporting an artist, musician, or content creator on a platform like Patreon?
  • Why is it important for artists, musicians, and content creators to earn income through a subscription model?

Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.


Behind the numbers (Forbes):

"Since Conte started Patreon four years ago with his Stanford University roommate Sam Yam, 33, who is CTO, the company has paid out more than $250 million to its artists--$150 million in 2017 alone. Patreon's traction is fueled by a simple pledging system and the direct line it opens between artists and fans, or "patrons," who get access to perks like live Q&As or exclusive chats with the artists, and more casual behind-the-scenes footage than an artist might share on Instagram or Facebook. It also doesn't hurt that being altruistic makes people feel good. In other words, Conte didn't need to change human nature to get Patreon to work, he simply needed to facilitate the exchange between fan and artist.

While Patreon is no longer the only player in its category (Kickstarter launched a competitor called Drip in November), it is the largest--and it's growing faster than ever. The number of patrons and creators and the amount pledged are all doubling yearly. Now Patreon is using some of the more than $100 million it has raised from investors, which include Joshua Kushner's Thrive Capital and Freestyle Capital, to double its headcount over the next year.

From the start, Patreon has taken a 5% cut of each pledge. That's the same cut taken by Kickstarter and Indiegogo but far less than revenue-sharing programs on YouTube and Apple iTunes, which keep 45% and 30%, respectively. "The mission is to send as much money to creators as possible," Conte says. The commissions generated an estimated $8 million in revenue last year."



Here are more AAPI Heritage Month resources on the NGPF Website!

About the Author

Ryan Wood

Ryan grew up with and maintains a love for learning. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay with a degree in Business Administration and worked in sports marketing for a number of years. After living in Texas, Colorado, Tennessee, and Minnesota, the call of education eventually brought Ryan back to his home state of Wisconsin where he was a Business and Marketing teacher for three years. In his free time he likes to spend time with his wife and daughter, play basketball, read, and go fishing. Now with NGPF, Ryan is excited to help teachers lead the most important course their students will ever take.

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