Category Archives: Commentary

Notes on the podcast and my own journey toward getting paid to play!

Patreon’s New Fee Structure: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

There’s been a lot of uproar about Patreon’s recently announced changes to their fee structure, due to kick in in a week’s time and be applied to the December billing cycle (paid in January). While Patreon has framed these changes as benefiting creators, a lot of creators feel as though their patrons are being penalised for supporting them, whilst many patrons who pledge less than $5 per creation / month are nervously re-evaluating whom they can afford to pledge to.

In the midst of all the noise, it’s taken some time to work out just what’s going on, why it will work for some people, how it will hurt and what’s just plain aggravating. Read on for my take on the matter, and what it will mean for patrons and creators going forward.

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Patreon’s Changes to Backing Creators [updated with video]

While I don’t have any set plans for new episodes, some folks have been in touch lately with the aim of getting me to record a chat with some pretty awesome people – so before any new episodes come out, I just want to make sure you folks are aware of some recent changes to Patreon‘s donation structure.

The gist of Patreon’s statements regarding the changes are that they’re aimed at ensuring creators get more of the donations from patrons. I can understand this somewhat as it took me a frustrating while to realise that the income I got out of Patreon wasn’t steady, even when my patronage was. Maybe I wasn’t looking in the right places, but I feel they could have done a better job of communicating the monthly fluctuations in processing fees to creators in the first place.

The main problem with Patreon’s chosen solution to this, and the source of the upset I’ve been reading about from both patrons and creators, is that they’re now asking patrons to shoulder the burden by charging them processing fees for each backing – so while creators now get 95 cents in the dollar, patrons have to pay an additional flat fee plus percentage per creator that they back. One oft touted example is that if you back 10 creators for $1 each – and you’ll often find that the $1.00 per month/creation is the largest proportion of a Patreon creator’s support – you would now have to pay $13.79.

I wanted to make sure you’re aware of this before I go putting any new episodes up so that existing patrons can review and adjust their pledges and potential new patrons can assess whether they want to chip in under Patreon’s model. If you want to find out more, start with this article on Patreon’s blog.

And if you’re aware of any alternates, let me know – I’m working on the resurrection of the Only In Death podcast and would like to give potential fans an option to be patrons that works for everyone.

Update 9 Dec 17 2:40AM:

My thinking on this matter suddenly clarified a couple of hours ago, and I did a pair of Facebook Live streams which I’ve put up on YouTube:

Chris Birch, Founder and Publisher at Modiphius – Episode 123

Tabletop Gaming Company Founder and Publisher Chris Birch loves the tabletop gaming scene, from roleplaing games to wargames and boardgames; he grew up on Dungeons & Dragons, Steve Jackson’s Ogre and 15mm historical wargames. He loves it so much that he long harboured a dream of making and publishing games.

Five years ago, Chris followed his dream to create and run a game company and founded founded Modiphius. The company used Kickstarter to enable their first project, Achtung! Cthulhu; since then Modiphius has become full-time employment for Chris and around twenty employees. Modiphius has created new games and secure the licenses for some of the biggest franchises around, including Infinity, Fallout, Conan and Star Trek.

Join Chris and I for a great chat about headphone-stealing squirrels, what a major convention does to your work schedule, preparing for the tabletop gaming business through the music and fashion industries and making sure you choose projects based on whether you genuinely love them!

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State of Play July 2017: 2,000+ Downloads in June!

Just two months after passing the 1,000 downloads in one month milestone, the Podcast breaks yet another record: 2,227 Total Downloads from 2,044 unique IP addresses!

I did a Facebook Live broadcast to announce and celebrate the record-break and a bunch of folks turned up to hang out and ask questions! I’ve even been asked to do more live broadcasts!

What’s your play?

What personal bests have you topped recently?

What would you like me to do live events about?

State of Play: Thank You for 1,000+ Downloads in April!

An audio AND video thank-you from your humble host to all the wonderful folks who made April an unexpectedly massive month – even with the schedule change from weekly to fortnightly!

Top 10 for 2016! Most Downloaded Episodes of Season 4 (Live Stream)

On a complete and utter whim after checking my podcast stats, I decided to record a quick live stream of the Top 10 Downloaded Episodes of 2016!

What’s your play?

Who was your favourite guest of the Paid to Play Podcast in 2016?

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What would you like for a Patreon reward?

So here I am, with some big goals for this year – heck, big goals for this half-year. I’m hoping you like the idea of more Paid to Play LIVE events, a longer reach for potential guests, an expanded ability to do video episodes

And I need your help to achieve them.

I’d like you to back the Podcast on Patreon. I’d like you to spread the word about the Podcast, tell your friends about it, let them know about the Patreon campaign and what I’m hoping to achieve with it.

But what I’d also like you to do is tell me what I can give you in return.

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I Need Your Help: Patreon Milestones for 2016

Patreon has been an awesome boost to this podcast. Thanks to the lovely folks who have come in and backed me, I’ve been able to take the hosting and domain name fees out of our household budget.

But the main advantage (and aim) of Patreon is that it allows creators to ask for their fans’ help not just in covering costs, but improving the created works themselves, allowing the creators to do do more than they could on their own.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve got some things that I want to do for and with Paid to Play this year, but that my personal budget simply won’t let me. In the meantime, I’ve put some figures together around them (and made some interesting discoveries) and can finally set a milestone for this year.

Here’s what I need your help with:

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Patreon and The Reason: Early Plans for 2016

So here we go! The Paid to Play Podcast’s first official Season will commence in the next couple of months; in the meantime I’m working to make sure this season goes a lot more steadily and coherently than those previous (even though they weren’t technically seasons, just semi-consistent runs of episodes – which is why I want to make sure Season 4 is as tight as possible).

I want to place myself so that I’m bringing you great chats on a regular basis, but also getting back on the horse with regard to getting paid to play – and getting Patreon to help me do some cool things for the podcast this year.

What cool things? Read on…

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