Why YouTubers need Patreon support

Patreon and YouTube - the perfect combination for making money?

There are a few ways to make money on YouTube, but there is another very exciting alternative with Patreon.

In my article today, I'm going to look at how to combine Patreon and YouTube. I will also present one or the other example.

I'm really looking forward to your feedback on this article, especially if you have already had experience with Patreon and YouTube.

Does Patreon work with YouTube?


YouTube itself offers the possibility to monetize the videos. You can become a YouTube partner and display advertising before or during your own videos.

YouTube channel membership has also been available for some time. Here fans can become members of a channel for a monthly fee and receive bonuses from the channel owner.

There are also many other income opportunities for YouTubers, so that as a video creator you already have enough opportunities to earn money.

But you can also use Patreon with YouTube, albeit not as directly as other sources of income. It used to be no problem to include the Patreon link in the credits of your own video. But YouTube changed that in 2017. Now a direct link in the credits is only possible if you are in the YouTube partner program.

This currently requires 4,000 hours of playback time in the past twelve months and 1,000 subscribers. Small channels do not do this so easily and therefore it takes time.

However, there is still the option to include the Patreon link in the video description.

What do your viewers want?

So Patreon is also possible for small YouTube channels, but how do you get as many viewers or channel subscribers as possible to give Patreon money for your own channel?

Many argue that viewers should support the channel and that this should create a better community. Crowdfunding in the classic sense.

But that doesn't really work these days and is more of the wishful thinking of many YouTubers. Instead, you shouldn't talk about support, but instead look at what viewers really want and what they are willing to spend money on.

Exactly this content should be offered to the supporters.

Exclusive video content for Patreons

Exclusive content does not work for podcasts and Patreon, but also for YouTube channels. Because only when users want something specific or fear that they will miss something are they willing to spend money.

This can be the following exclusive content:

  • Exclusive videos

    Arguably one of the strongest incentives is exclusive videos that only the Patreons can see. These can be, for example, behind the scenes videos, early access videos or special video formats. A live stream can only be offered to paying fans.

    In YouTube, this would be solved with private videos. The link to this is published in the posts on Patreon.com.

    However, it has to be said here that this could be solved better and easier via a channel membership, since this exclusive content could then be made available to the subscribers directly.

  • Links / resources

    Interesting links, further information, exclusive downloads and more can also be made available to the Patreons.

  • Survey

    One could, for example, hold surveys among the Patreons as to which video content is desired next.

  • Exclusive podcast

    An accompanying podcast is also conceivable. Especially when the YouTuber himself is very popular, many will certainly like to hear his / her voice in a podcast.

  • Private forum or Slack channel

    In order to exchange ideas with one another and also to get in contact with the channel owner himself, a private forum could be set up or, for example, an exclusive slack channel could be offered for the Patreons.

  • Q&A videos

    You can ask the supporters to ask questions, which you then answer in a public video. You can also mention the supporters by name, which they often find very good.

There are certainly more ways to provide exclusive content. But two things are important.

On the one hand, it has to be something that viewers are very interested in and are willing to spend money on.

On the other hand, you always have to keep in mind that this means additional work. Quite a few YouTubers and podcasters unfortunately under “Creator Burnout” because they have simply set too much on.

Whenever I need a break in a normal YouTube channel, I take it. Then no videos appear for a few days. But if you take money from viewers through Patreon, you have to deliver the promised content.


I once looked to see what examples there are for YouTubers who use Patreon. Here are a few of them.

  • Suede = $ 1,436 / video

    This YouTuber makes videos about anime films and series and currently earns $ 1,436 with 384 Patreons per review video. Multiple review videos appear per month so it seems financially worth it.

    He's been making videos about Pokemon since 2008, but only as a hobby for a long time. When he started using Patreon, not much came in. He chose the option to take money per review video but rarely published reviews.

    When he took the time for it, the number of supporters went up and now he has very good monthly income. And that although he does not have a particularly large channel with only 13,900 YouTube subscribers. Here, however, around 2.7% of the subscribers are also supporters.

    It is interesting, among other things, that he names the new Patreons at the beginning of each video. That is also well received.

  • The Nerdwriter = $ 3,354 / video

    Currently there are 2 videos a month in which certain topics are addressed in essay style. That goes from zombies, to nirvana, to Van Gogh. A colorful mix, but it seems to be well received. The YouTube channel currently has a whopping 2.64 million subscribers.

    On Patreon, the channel has 2,066 supporters who pay $ 3,354 per video. So that's around $ 6,700 a month.

    Here, only around 0.08% of the channel subscribers are also paying supporters. Nevertheless, this is sufficient with this large range. One reason is certainly that there are no exclusive videos, but that they are freely available to everyone.

  • Animal Wonders = $ 2,267 / month

    This video channel regularly releases animal videos and currently has a whopping 188,000 subscribers on YouTube.

    464 Patreons support the channel and currently generate monthly income of $ 2,267. But even here it is only 0.25% of the subscribers who are also Patreons.

  • Hunter & Cron = $ 2,345 / month

    The German board game channel has 42,200 subscribers, which is very good. The income is also looking very good at $ 2,345 per month from 376 supporters. On Steady there is an additional 145 euros per month from 18 supporters.

    That makes a share of almost 1%. So here not so many YouTube subscribers become financial supporters either. For YouTube, this is apparently a very good value.

How many YouTube subscribers do you need?

The analysis of these channels shows very well that you can earn money as a YouTuber with Patreon, but that it is not that easy. Often the share of supporters is less than 1% compared to the number of channel subscribers. This ratio is often significantly higher with podcasts.

So you need a lot of channel subscribers and really attractive (preferably exclusive) content to get enough people to support you financially.

In addition, Patreon should really be mentioned often. E.g. in every video at the beginning and / or end. In addition, there is of course a Patreon link in the description and when sharing the video you can also point out and link to Patreon.

It is clear, however, that if you only have 500 subscribers in your YouTube channel, you usually don't need to start with Patreon. This requires more range.

Steady and other alternatives?

I already mentioned Steady. This is the German market leader in permanent financial support for creative people. In terms of tax law, the income via Steady is much easier to handle and data protection is of course more important here than with a US company.

However, Steady is not that well known and you have to do a little more convincing.

A great alternative is of course the already mentioned YouTube channel membership. In the USA there are already individual levels of support, as known from Patreon. In addition, it is easier to deliver exclusive video content here and the members do not have to use a third-party platform.

However, YouTube has to incorporate even more community functions here that allow it to deliver other exclusive content. But then it's probably the most attractive crowdfunding option for many YouTubers.


Patreon and YouTube can work well together, but several requirements must be met.

Only those who have sufficient reach on YouTube and also offer interesting and exclusive content will also gain many supporters.

I look forward to your feedback and your experiences on this topic.

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