So i made a new item for liberapay, since I thought it was worth it.
Also, I would much rather see Liberapay on the frontpage of HN than Facebook "fan subscriptions"...
We have enough multinationals that try to claim 30% on top of someone else's work.
Liberapay doesn't take anything off the top
This was touched on in the Congressional hearing with Mr. Zuckerberg, where he avoided the answer:
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TEX): Thank you Mr. Chairman. Mr. Zuckerberg, welcome. Thank you for being here.
Mr. Zuckerberg, does Facebook consider itself a neutral public forum?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, we consider ourselves to be a platform for all ideas.
CRUZ: Let me ask the question again. Does Facebook consider itself to be a neutral public forum, and representatives of your company are giving conflicting answers on this? Are you a ...
ZUCKERBERG: Well ...
CRUZ: ... First Amendment speaker expressing your views, or are you a neutral public forum allowing everyone to speak?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, here's how we think about this: I don't believe that — there are certain content that clearly we do not allow, right? Hate speech, terrorist content, nudity, anything that makes people feel unsafe in the community. From that perspective, that's why we generally try to refer to what we do as platform for all ideas ...
CRUZ: Let me try this, because the time is constrained. It's just a simple question. The predicate for Section 230 immunity under the CDA is that you're a neutral public forum. Do you consider yourself a neutral public forum, or are you engaged in political speech, which is your right under the First Amendment.
ZUCKERBERG: Well, senator, our goal is certainly not to engage in political speech. I am not that familiar with the specific legal language of the — the law that you — that you speak to. So I would need to follow up with you on that. I'm just trying to lay out how broadly I think about this.
Twitter sends legal warning for blasphemy. They couldn't find better timing for illustrating the point.
I was literally arguing, that the nice theoretical point of guaranteed free speech is null and void by the current implementation of communication/publishing/payment processing. Where do you find 'America! Fuck yea!' in that? If anything, it is a critique of the current status, which hides ugly reality behind nice theory.
> or Muslim hatred?
Oh boy, another huge can of worms. Muslims still have no idea, what is a hatred in the West. They interchange criticism with hatred, and then they react somewhere between rioting to violence, fueling the vicious circle. They have no idea how Christians were/are pushed around in the West (you can start with the Covington issue recently: they were automatically guilty for being white and Catholics); or don't even consider how they behaved/are behaving towards Christians in the Middle East. Food for thought: ever seen Christian no-go zone in Saudi Arabia? Thought so.
It’s stunning to read this. Are you really claiming you haven’t seen hatred towards Muslims?
> hey have no idea how Christians were/are pushed around in the West
And there’s where it goes from stunning to laughable. Yes, Christians, truly the most oppressed people in the West.
It is a fraction compared to the hatred from Muslims.
> Yes, Christians, truly the most oppressed people in the West.
Not only in the West; try being a Christian in the Middle East. You know, the countries controlled by Muslims today. Are you going to claim with a straight face, that they are not opressed?
> Not only in the West
If someone criticised Jesus Christ in their podcast (for example), they would be putting Liberapay at risk. I don't believe Liberapay would allow that, so they'd just ban the user. That's what makes Liberapay a risky option.
In th EU:
> The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union has been legally binding since December 1, 2009 when the Treaty of Lisbon became fully ratified and effective. Article 11 of the Charter, in part mirroring the language of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights, provides that
> 1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.
> 2. The freedom and pluralism of the media shall be respected. The European Court of Justice takes into account both the Charter and the Convention when making its rulings. According to the Treaty of Lisbon, the European Union accedes to the European Convention as an entity in its own right, making the Convention binding not only on the governments of the member states but also on the supranational institutions of the EU.
So, is speech in USA "freer" than in the EU? Yes. But in both cases free speech is recognized as a right.
True, but also trivial. Everyone pays lip service to free speech, even the most serious violators of it:
Article 67 states: "Citizens are guaranteed freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, demonstration and association. The State shall guarantee conditions for the free activity of democratic political parties and social organizations."
That case the parent linked is about defamation (calling Muhammed a paedophile), not blasphemy (for example saying Muhammed was not a prophet).
EDIT: so I was wrong. See the comments below.
With Ireland's recent repeal, it seems there are now only 17 European countries with blasphemy laws, including Austria, where this case happened:
> Andorra, Austria, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Liechtenstein, Poland, Portugal, the Russian Federation, San Marino, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom (Northern Ireland and Scotland) and the Vatican City. This list excluded countries like Belgium and Luxembourg, which provide narrower provisions for insulting the objects of a religion in places of worship or public ceremonies.
I stand corrected.
Specifically, it covers disparagement and mockery of religions and traditions if it is likely to cause justified anger. That leaves a lot open to interpretation (when is anger justified?) but it seems clearly aimed at blasphemy.
The parent likely knows this, and yet chooses to deliberately misinform in their comment.
What's the point of having free speech protected by the government if in practice no company will allow you to practice your free speech?
The "Facebook © 2019" notice on each Facebook page tells users that they are on someone else's website. Next to the notice is a link to Facebook's terms of service, which discloses their "Community Standards". Facebook has been dishonest in many situations, but they don't hide their ability to moderate content in any way.
It's certainly within one's right to be upset with Facebook's policies. If you feel strongly enough about this, you have the option to stop using Facebook, and you can switch to a different platform with policies that align more closely with your views. You can also publish your own website, where you can establish your own rules.
But Facebook's website is not your property, so you can't graft your preferred rules onto Facebook. You can ask them nicely and you can apply social pressure, but Facebook makes the final decision on how they run themselves because the site is not yours.
You know how you can say whatever you want on the street, but I can make you leave my house for whatever reason I want? Same idea. Free speech is only a coherent concept in public spaces. Otherwise my right to private property would be impaired by your right to say whatever you want in my dojo.
As for your last question...I mean, really? "What's the point?" Are you actually asking this in good faith? Go take a look at any country which doesn't have freedom of speech or freedom of the press. How about being able to say what I want without being disappeared in the middle of the night? If Twitter bans someone for hate speech you honestly believe that's comparable to something like Khashoggi's assassination?
You're quoting Voltaire like the stakes for private and public censorship are the same but that's utterly ridiculous.
This is an opinion, and one many people disagree with. The idea of freedom of speech existed before the first amendment. They're not the same thing, it's just convenient for authoritarians to conflate them because it creates a narrower scope. It's intentional equivocation and a pretty flimsy argument tactic.
> You know how you can say whatever you want on the street, but I can make you leave my house for whatever reason I want? Same idea. Free speech is only a coherent concept in public spaces. Otherwise my right to private property would be impaired by your right to say whatever you want in my dojo.
Again, not the same thing, but what you're getting at is freedom of association. A company can choose whom they do business with, as an individual can choose whom they allow in their home. The interesting thing lately is that many people only believe in freedom of association when it means that they get to pick who is excluded, and very rarely believe in the actual principal. You can see this in the whole "gay wedding cake" situation that played out in the last couple of years. Much of the same political group that loves to trot out the idea that you can censor people out of existence on the internet was horrified when a private business chose not to create a specific message on their product.
> You're quoting Voltaire like the stakes for private and public censorship are the same but that's utterly ridiculous.
Not really, it's actually pretty dead on. John Stewart Mill wrote at length about censorship in On Liberty and specifically wrote about censorship via social pressure and how dangerous it was. It's not some imagined idea, it's just one inconvenient to a particular political group's goals right now.
The person you are rightly critiquing seems similar to the careless but widespread view that says, "sure, go ahead and X, that's fine, it's your [legal] right, but I think blah blah" with this thing few ever catch which is: it's often totally NOT fine to do something that is nonetheless legal.
You have the right to X, but I can still say STOP IT. And I could reasonably argue in various cases that X is anti-social or bad for any range of reasons. Please people do NOT just accept or do whatever as long as it's legal. That whole idea is craziness.
In many US jurisdictions they can do the first (and so can essentially everyone else.) They also do the last, often without legal consequences, though not as the outcome of a judicial process (but in civilized countries, government can't do that as the outcome of a judicial process, either.)
So no, it's not "utterly nonsensical." Everything you're bringing up is completely orthogonal to the political theory of freedom of speech.
It’s your right to talk, but that doesn’t compel anyone else to broadcast it. Freedom of speech doesn’t require that anyone he made to listen.
TARP wound up making a small profit in the end, incidentally.
So they are enjoying all the perks of being government backed (protected monopoly + full bailout privileges), yet must endure none of the restrictions of a government agency. Best of both worlds.
It's pretty ironic that the solution for being "too big to fail" was to make the banks even bigger while also placing restrictions of many types of trading.
What should have been done is just remove the FDIC insurance and let banks do whatever the fuck they want. The only way to learn that risk management is important is if you see some of your competitors as road kill on the side of the road.
Me, I love seeing these guys deplatformed.
But it's good to stay vigilent.
And CH kept publishing on the same theme AFTER the murders, showing that they do, indeed, have freedom of speech, and are willing to use it.
2. If the country considers freedom of speech a right, shouldn’t the country make serious attempts to protect it? It does so for other human rights.
You have the right to not be raped as well, doesn't mean we can prevent all of them.
What right do you know that can be guaranteed all the time, under any circonstance ?
Care to enlighten us?
I doubt they'll be able to get away with the terms as is, but it wouldn't surprise me if they manage to successfully charge significantly more than Patreon and still get a lot of customers.
I remember their promo videos promising access to "millions of people" and "your imagination is the limit". Turns out it isn't feasible to spam all the people in your friends list with all your updates, so Facebook decides who sees which. Want more people to see your posts? Your wallet is the limit.
I'm not seeing anything inconsistent in that position. They didn't promise free access to their audience. The imagination of how much you can spend is indeed the limit.
It was literally the default setting until they started making people and orgs pay to reach all _of their own, organically grown_ audience.
People were advertising their FB pages in advertising, on billboards and signage all over the country for a couple of years. I'm talking like Realtors and run-of-the-mill small businesses, etc. It all just turned out to be free advertising for Facebook because they changed their mind after reaching scale and needed to turn on some more profit.
So logically creators should only use FB for access to new audience, build a relationship with the newly acquired audience, and pivot to direct billing or Patreon for recurrent collection.
Sending an API request, to the credit card company, to bill the monthly payment, does not cost a lot of money.
Getting your audience to switch platforms for the monthly payments is a compartively easy thing to do, compared to setting up your own video hosting site.
Patreon is the outlier, and they're dropping hints now that it probably isn't going to last: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/23/crowd-funding-platform-patre...
I think people are just getting hung up on the number without thinking deeper on what it costs to make things sustainable.
5% of the 500 million Patreon claims to be able to process is 25 million. According to their team picture on their website (https://www.patreon.com/about), they have 74 employees. That amounts to $330000/employee. Halving that to account for benefits (chair, table, wifi, insurance, etc) leads to $165000/employee for salary which seems reasonable average for a senior employee in the Bay Area. Notice this doesn't account for infrastructure, taxes, outside counsel/contractors, etc. It's crazy that after working for 6 years and creating half a billion of value, a company can barely afford to keep the lights on, let alone make a profit. I agree 30% just makes sense for a platform - you need enough to hire properly, pay all expenses and make enough of a profit for this to make sense. The alternative is half a billion of value disappears to save on a few million which I think is incredibly myopic.
An high quality chair is, say, $500 amortized over 5 years. A table, $100 amortized over 5 years. Open office space (at 65 square feet per employee and $100 per square foot per year) is about $6,500. Insurance is about $7,000 a year per employee - total.
So, under 10% of that extra per-employeee revenue is what the actual costs for those "bonuses".
Patreon is not that. At its heart, it's primarily a service for collecting donations. There is some content hosting, but that's kind of a secondary feature.
The 30% is a tithing to Apple for creating iPhone in the first place.
Patreon could sort of justify the same thing. Their real product is just the idea that anyone could be a monthly patron at all. That’s worth a LOT to creators. People didn’t think that way before Patreon.
Not a "gamer", so I don't really know what "Steam" is/does, but I suspect they must have some kind of moat.
I'm not sure that people are comfortable with Patreon taking a 10% cut.
I'm not happy about eBay taking a 10% cut, but they have a monopoly. Jack Ma, please bring Taobao to USA!
Yup. Competition is good for the market in general, and for consumers in a more indirect way, but balkanization of content space and having to deal with the crappy apps of me-too competitors is a real pain.
(There's probably some economical theory around this that I don't know, but my gut-feel classification is this: competition is good for consumer when competitors are providing the same, or at least directly substitutable, goods and services. Individual video games - and music, movies, books - are not substitutable goods, so the competition is useful only to the extent you can get the same game/movie from any of the competitors. Exclusive publishing deals make competition harmful to the consumer.)
Yes, there is a pretty standard economic proof that much of capitalism is based on. It says that an economy is most "efficient" (you can take a class on that word), when three pre-requisites are met:
1. Perfect information: Everyone knows the value of everything.
2. Commodities: Products created by competitors are equivalent. This works well for oil and bananas, but not so well for much else.
3. Access to Capital: This means new competitors can start competitors and enter markets easily. This isn't so easy when there is regulation, monopolies, or network effects.
In short, there is a set of circumstances when things work really well. However, in the real world, those circumstances rarely arise.
I don't really want a monopoly, though, having more than one store is better in the long run, even if it sucks having to register for multiple services. At least it's not like streaming where your costs go up the more services you register for.
The ideal would be if Steam could let other publishers plug in their platform for a much smaller cut of the profits and handle sales, forums, friends, wikis, with the other publisher handling distribution, marketing, etc. Or at least if it could function as OAuth and I could use my Steam profile on other publishers' services, carry over my friends list, maybe achievements, etc. Of course that still leaves Valve in a monopoly position, but I think it's an ok compromise.
The problem with "competing platforms" is that they're mostly not competing platforms. Recently Metro: Exodus was pulled from Steam store to be sold as an exclusive on the epic store. This is not competition, this is a monopoly on distribution of a title.
When different platforms emerge where most platforms have most titles (or offer DRM free like GoG or Humble Bundle), then we will have actual competition.
The game developers who were around before Steam, know how much that costs (promotion wise), and know they get a lot for that 30% cut. The same is true for those other platforms.
You seem to be a person that expects all internet platforms offer their stuff for free.
And another thing: all of those platforms mentioned have competitors, so calling them monopolies is quite strange. It's not because they are market leaders that there is no alternative (which monopolies don't offer)
In the same way you can put a store in a rural place, or you could put in in New York 5th Avenue with warrantied traffic.
And of course that 100% does not take into account your cost of hosting, creating or adapting the necessary infrastructure and maintenance.
I'm thinking about Craigslist, Snapchat, Vimeo, Mixer, etc. Don't confuse market leader with monopoly.
Before Steam, you had several casual portals (all competing with each other). Do you know which cut they took? 70%.
Do you know why platforms nowadays take 30%? Because it's well worth the 30%, that's why. And if you think a platform can live off a 3% cut, please show me the successful on that does that.
That is not the way things work.
Why does Apple take 30% of sales? Because Apple prices at the profit-maximizing percentage and because Apple figures that the profit-maximizing percentage is 30%.
Lower, and they leave money on the table. Higher, and sales volume goes down.
Ever hear of something called "consumer surplus"? A gallon of gasoline would well be worth $10 to me, but I pay a lot less then that! Why? Because of competition.
In the white darn city here, the prices are within 1 cent of each other and everyone somehow raises them whenever there is any excuse.
Differences between cities are up to 20 percent. Sometimes (not considering externalities) it would be worth driving much farther to buy petrol. Few people do it.
Local monopoly or collusion is as good as global one. For Google Pay, the local is whole main Android store.
Where they do compete with cheaper alternatives (e.g. in South Korea), the premium is lower. But only there.
Facebook essentially guesses a price on their advertisement monopoly on their platform. The price is not set by competition nor by demand, but by belief in value added (which is only partially responsive to supply and demand), just like in most stocks.
I recommend reading on the concept of elasticity and substitute good, as well as idiosyncracies of human economical decisions.
30% is the price, set on the non-monopoly market. I don't get what you are complaining about.
Steam's bigger marketplace and that it removes the uncertainty and risks around payment provider management (chargebacks etc.) easily make up for the bigger cut. Do less work, make more money. It's not unreasonable.
I'm not saying Apple don't provide a service, of course they do, though at times it sucks. My main point is about is about the price, not the principle. I pay Apple a yearly subscription just to develop for their platform. On top of that every sale I make they get 30%.
Would 95% be ok?
Another extreme element of this is that I cannot sell a licence outside of the App Store to my customers. I cannot ask them to buy from my website (which many have asked about and would be happy to do) and provide them with a code they can use to unlock or upgrade. This is explicitly banned. Unless you're a big player like Spotify or Netflix your app will not be allowed to do this. I've tried and been denied and stonewalled.
In this case I am willing to build and manage my own payment/licencing setup to gain 30%. I'm just not allowed to do that.
And I don't, tbh, have an opinion about the rest of your post; I'm talking about Steam, not Apple.
But, having gone down this road myself (and why I cite the Jeff Vogel talk): you would almost certainly spend more than 30% on customer support and payment processing and fraud protection and accounting. Or you would do it incorrectly, which is worse. And, regardless, you'd expose yourself to a way smaller audience. It seems to me to be a good way to shoot yourself in the foot for no gain (and as an app developer myself I certainly wouldn't bother).
No indie game developer that has been around for a while would say this. A 30% cut is way less than anything else that came before it.
Steam also allows you to sell Steam keys from wherever, and you get to keep 100% of that. This is how Humble Bundle works.
When you release on Steam, you also get free exposure at first, which is basically free ads. You would otherwise pay several thousands of dollars for that.
So in any sense, Steam worked to get that 30%, and there is no serious indie game developer that is arguing with that.
Which is not exactly happily handing over 30% of your earnings to Steam/Apple.
Also, as mentioned in other replies, Apple explicitly blocks any other licencing path unless you're one of the big boys and can afford lawyers etc...
I explicitly cannot do this for iOS apps. There is just no way for me to get my app in front of people's eyes without paying the Apple tax.
If I was prevented from distributing my movie somehow by Disney, you might have a point.
Disney's not going to put it in their online store, though.
In the case of an iOS app, you can sell the source and let people build it on their own Xcode installs, if you like.
Then we'd all have a half dozen completely incompatible physical media players and so on.
Which might be for the best, Steam is in dire need of a serious competitor (I know GOG and co exist but sadly they have not been able to make a real dent in Steam's marketshare).
Steam has dropped so many balls and the main thing going for them is inertia.
Also, just because paying a large cut to various middlemen is common does not mean it is ok.
> Starting from October 1, 2018 (i.e. revenues prior to that date are not included), when a game makes over $10 million on Steam, the revenue share for that application will adjust to 75%/25% on earnings beyond $10M. At $50 million, the revenue share will adjust to 80%/20% on earnings beyond $50M.
The Epic store really isn't much of a competitor at all yet, the only reason it's having any impact at all is because they've been paying developers to release exclusively on the Epic store.
Maybe someone in China could, but they don't directly compete.
GoG has a niche they're trying to expand, as does Humble. A few other small stores. Game company ones (EA, Blizzard, Ubisoft) are not even close. Funny enough, the small shops often resell Steam keys...
> You keep full ownership of all content that you post on Patreon, but to operate we need licenses from you.
> By posting content to Patreon you grant us a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, sublicensable, worldwide license to use, reproduce, distribute, perform, publicly display or prepare derivative works of your content. The purpose of this license is to allow us to operate Patreon, promote Patreon and promote your content on Patreon. We are not trying to steal your content or use it in an exploitative way.
Facebook, on the other hand, has numerous ways to benefit that don't proportionally benefit the creator, including from indirect revenue sources like advertising and data enrichment that don't flow back to the creator in any way. I suppose this is alright when you are just showing cat photos to your family, but it's quite different when you are basing your business on someone else's market-dominating platform with large negotiating leverage. And there are known cases where Facebook has been known to very liberally appropriate ideas from companies that are competitive with them (e.g., Snapchat).
So if your content would make a good ad for Patreon, you've given them permission to use it without compensating you.
Google has a guarantee on when your deleted data disappears from tapes in vaults, and it was something that every engineer at the company had to think about (not to mention a ton of work in actually implementing it). You may wish for Some New Startup with 2 engineers to do it for you, but it's hard, takes time, and nobody actually cares. Look at how many people use Patreon despite that policy. Why spend years of engineering work when your lawyer can get the problem fixed in 5 minutes? It's just economics.
The real problem is when Facebook uses that content to further their business interests. Likewise, the publisher shouldn't be sending that rejected manuscript around for others to mine for ideas.
(that said, to avoid the temptation that gives rise to this precise problem, it's common practice for publishers to return rejected manuscripts)
That argument makes no sense if you're talking about publishing, AKA making something available to the public.
But the real world of production computer systems is not always the happy path. Consider the case where you delete your account, then the service suffers a database problem, and your content doesn't actually get deleted (failover to a replica, restore from backup, etc.) Now they are violating that contract with you. That is why they make the terms of the contract "in perpetuity" so the engineers can fix the production system incrementally, rather than saying "welp, there's a risk of a lawsuit if we failover to the backup, so we're shutting off the website and paying back the shareholders, everyone go home, we're done here".
Like I said, some companies take a middle ground where they really do guarantee deletion even if unhappy events take place at exactly the wrong time. It is possible. It's just not very economical.
If this was just about liability, the terms could be much narrower. They're intentionally broad to guarantee the maximum benefit to the platform and allow them to come up with other uses for that data later on.
This is exploitative and only works because of the power imbalance between platforms and individual creators. Even if you follow the idea of the "free marketplace" you'll have to acknowledge that creators have no individual leverage when it comes to platforms with "take it or leave it" ToS.
The objectionable part is not the exclusive license. The objectionable part is the sublicense right, which lets Facebook sell creators works to third parties without paying the creators, and even after the underlying business relationship with the Creator has ended.
I know what some are thinking, these platforms are extremely successful. this is partially true, but they haven't thrived anywhere near I think they are capable of.
I feel like these two are much harder than the others. How does the app store help you with beta testing? Isn't discoverability basically a lottery?
By discovery I mean lots of users go on the app store and search for apps to download directly, no marketing or SEO needed. Adding the website, trials, SEO, etc helped a bit probably, but my app seems to just live on app store organic searches.
But at the end of the day what can I do? There's not really competition to drive the commissions down. If another app store came up and offered 10% commissions and the audience I'd go there instead.
Both Apple and Google drop subscriptions to 15% after the first year.
I could see that happening given that you'd have a huge base of people with accounts already and it's a platform for sharing content.
Then manufacturers and cell phone companies started realizing the money train they were on. They made billions by selling this same crap to people who didn't know how or have the time to customize their own phone.
As it turns out, billions of dollars tends to get people's attention. Now those same companies are locking down PC boots, taking out headphone jacks, and all sorts of other things to "help" us have better computers. Each of them will involve trying to keep those cash cows lying around, maybe grow the herd a bit.
My point is this: smart people caught on to this bullshit. Facebook, Patreon, and the other fan/audience aggregation systems are doing the same thing, just with a different platform. I'm not sure, but I think the folks are catching on faster this time around. We're going to end up with an internet where the tech elite use services that actually facilitate their lives while the rest of the world use various subscription and "helper" services that try to extract as much money as possible from them at every turn.
As Sir Tony Hoare lamented:
> At first I hoped that such a technically unsound project would collapse but I soon realized it was doomed to success. Almost anything in software can be implmented, sold, and even used given enough determination. There is nothing a mere scientist can say that will stand against the flood of a hundred million dollars.
I get the feeling that a lot of modern products are boondoggles on the merits but "doomed to success" because FAANG et. al. put them on a pedestal and the media is all too happy to go along with corporate marketing narratives if it grabs eyeballs (see e.g. the ridiculous amount of hype around foldable phones, which are sort of neat but hardly a revolutionary advance).
Yea what's going on with that nonsense? I can't wait until consumer electronics turn into appliances and all this tech messianism finally dies off. It's not like the newer stuff really is better anymore. People are just looking for their next hit in tech products.
E-gads we live in a weird world
Are they thinking that people will sign up for this because it gives them instant access to lots of people on FB, and that justifies the higher percentage? I'm guessing that creators will end up having to pay to get exposure, just like brands, which nullifies this potential benefit.
"Perpetual and irrevocable" means that it continues even after you stop using their service.
Welcome to walled gardens.
I work a tiring manual job for three days to pay bills and buy nice things. The rest of the week I have some time to take photos and write other content which I share freely online.
I don't expect or demand that anyone else pay for my hobbies.
A hundred years ago most people had vast swaths of their productive life that operated outside of the economy. Housewives cooking meals, people fixing their own cars. Dances in barns. Etc.
Many “regular” people still live that way, which is where your statement is false.
Over the last 100 years there has been a concerted effort by business owners to displace all of that activity and replace it with productized equivalents in the economy:
You don’t cook, you buy frozen dinners. You pay to have your complicated car fixed. You don’t walk your friends dog, you get paid to do dog walking gigs. You gramma doesn’t cook you soup, you get it delivered. People don’t meet up in a barn, you go to a club and pay a cover.
This is new. And I’m not even saying it’s fundamentally bad for us. But for some of us it is disorienting.
Note that someone who only works 40 hours but has to commute 1.5 hours to and from work because they can't live in the city where the jobs are and spends 2 hours taking text emails while not actually at work has committed 65.5 hours of their time.
half hour getting ready for work, 1.5 hours driving there, 4 hours on lunch for an hour, 4 hours on, 1.5 hours getting home.
People working multiple part time jobs are worse off. They may be "working" 60 hours and committing 80.
I lived/studied in Boston, MA number of years, and I used to meet up with my childhood friend who immigrated from Georgia roughly 8 years ago at his late teen years. He graduated from a very prestigious business school, and has a decent job but after the day was over he used to do some extra stuff, like driving someone from place to place, some screw driving job (I don't exactly know). It seemed crazy to me, I asked numerous times what are you doing dude? His response was extra $ is not a bad thing.
It might sound a bit bold and too generalized, no offense, I'm up for conversation - in the US people forgot what it means to rest properly.
Roughly a year ago, I was visiting my good friend in Germany, who immigrated 15 years ago. He was encouraged by another friend who lived in California to move to the US. We sat down and make a list of comparisons. Just to name a few:
1. Workers Union protects employees. Pays a salary (70%+ of it) for 6 months if one looses a job. Also, a simple cold is good enough reason to take a week long leave and you're encouraged to do so.
- US? no bro, you're on your own. It's a god damn pressure that makes people work unworkable hours and being in the endless state of anxiety.
2. Car insurance - he drives a new BMW and pays ~ 350 USD per year. We quoted the minimal package for insurance in MA for the same car, guess the number? 10fold: 3000 USD per year.
3. Education? - Free.
US: 70$K per year.
4. Cost of food. Well, Germany is "notorious" even in EU for grocery affordability.
5. And Beer? German Hefeweizen 60 cents. Samuel Adams? no thank you. (half joking)
I did eventually left the US, although data science/engineering is the dream job generate money, but quality of life is no less important than the number of 0s at the end of bank acc. balance.
And that's what it is, as SatvikBeri has already said. People typically don't go to Patreon to find new content. They consume the content elsewhere (YouTube, Facebook, etc) and then go to Patreon. Facebook et al are packaging together a huge userbase as well as a very targeted marketing service amounts.
In the big scheme of things —because I'm sure some people do browse— Patreon is just the money processor.
Edit: Should also point out that YouTube has a similar system. Users can pay 100K-sub channels a fixed £4.99/month and Google keeps 30%. It's all about the point of contact. YouTube, Facebook, established app markets, etc all have near-monopoly access to people. That's why they can demand the big bucks.
Patreon not only collects money, it also provides a way to assign rewards, define goals and notify patrons (filtered by reward level) of new content.
It's not a publishing platform, but it's not just a payment processor, it's also a kind of marketing platform.
That said, the most appalling part of Facebook's "competitor" is not the 30% rate, it's that their ToS try to pull the same bullshit stunt they try to pull on their social platform: tricking you into believing you owe them perpetual transferable rights to everything you share via their platform. They know this isn't actually enforceable (at least not in all jurisdictions internationally) but they still try to trick people into believing they unknowingly agreed to it and are comfortable exploiting those in jurisdictions where this nonsense works and those who don't know any better.
That makes it kinda ridiculous.
30% to Apple: $1.5
30% to Facebook: $1.05 (of the remaining $3.50)
Leaving the creator with: $2.45
I assume it will be out of control of the content creator regarding how the subscriber chooses to pay/subscribe, so the margins could be all over the place.
Marginal tax rate - ~38%?
38% to the Government: $.93 (of the remaining $2.45)
Leaving the creator with: $1.52
If the invoice you give your customer says "$5.00", isn't the tax taken from that? That's how things work in Europe, the gross income is taxed.
Alternatively, those costs are simply deductible from taxable business income, for the same result, even on individual returns. (In the US business income is taxed on a net basis.)
No doubt you'll need to sign up to Facebook to even view the content, so I'm out then.
Of course Facebook has enough loyal users that they might actually be able to make this work..
FYI, here's the current top comment in this very thread:
> 30% is the same cut that Apple and Google take for everything that goes through their app stores, including all in-app purchases. It's the same cut that Steam takes. It's the same cut that YouTube takes for channel membership. Twitch takes an even larger cut: 50% from subscriptions. It's extremely well-established that people are comfortable with platforms taking that large of a portion.
I'd say not that paranoid.
The point of this is OBVIOUSLY not just profit, it's about figuring out how to get more and more stuff to live in Facebook, be run by Facebook, and tracked by Facebook.
Zuck and Sandberg can't tolerate the idea that people are donating to things and they don't know about it. They want to know who donates to what and all the other details. And they'd like to eliminate the existence of any content that's outside of the Facebook ecosystem.
A significant fraction of creators will seek alternatives when they hear about the FB product, or after being burned by it.
Twitch streamers also use Patreon, but subscriptions and cheers on Twitch are more successful from what I can tell - it's closer to the content. If somebody is using FB as the primary way to release content, it's only natural to also do the donations/subscriptions on FB.
Looks on par with other providers.
all they'd have to do for this to be successful is to make reach for partnered pages the same as it used to be before they limited it. there are pages with 1million followers who have a reach of 10-100k right now coz of the new rules.imagine if facebook said "partner and you get 1 million back".
As a content creator that charges $25/mth, would you rather:
1. Patreon - 500 subs 25x500x.95=$12,500 rev
2. FB - 5K subs 25x5000x.70=$87,500 rev
10x growth doesn't seem unrealistic given FB's scale and $$ motivation to grow your audience