In the context: YouTube creators have been becoming increasingly disillusioned with the platform in recent years. Algorithmic changes can increase the visibility of videos by both new and established users, and clips can be demonetized for seemingly no reason at any time. These difficulties, combined with frequent copyright strikes and video removals, have made YouTube an unstable environment to build a business, forcing creators to seek out alternative revenue streams, such as Patreon.
Patreon has its problems, but in general it is popular with YouTubers, artists and indie game developers of all kinds. Some YouTubers have even turned off ads on their channels, relying entirely on fan contributions via Patreon to stay afloat.
For those creators, a question might arise: what exactly is the point of YouTube? If people can’t find their videos due to unexpected algorithm changes and can’t profit from ads, why bother with the platform?
This is a question Patreon is trying to answer now, according to The Verge. Moving forward, the company plans to launch its own video hosting platform so that creators who wish to do so can finally break ties with YouTube or other similar video services. Patreon CEO Jack Conte says the company’s ultimate goal is to create a “horizontal architecture” that allows any creator, regardless of medium and upload format, to build a business around their work.
Patreon’s upcoming video hosting push is part of it. Ultimately, Conte wants to make his platform a one-stop shop for all a creator’s needs: revenue generation, media hosting, and communicating with fans. Whether or not it will make that dream come true remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: more YouTube competitors can’t hurt.
Of course, Patreon’s video hosting service won’t be a direct YouTube competitor. We doubt the site’s goal is to create a complete video hosting platform that anyone can upload to. It would take years of effort and non-Patreon users are unlikely to make the leap.
Instead, Patreon aims to challenge Google’s dominance in a more subtle way: by providing a very specific subsection of creators – those who don’t generate the majority of their revenue via YouTube – with an alternative way to deliver content to their audience. Patreon is essentially cutting out the middleman.