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Patreon, Steady & Co. – Sources of income for creators

2 minutes reading time
11-17 years
Social Media
Copyright: Ute Grabowsky/photothek.net

Every month, a few euros are automatically deducted from the account for the Netflix account. The child occasionally gets a new computer game or money for in-game purchases in the game app. But what about other content on the web? Have you ever thought about how creative people earn their money on the net, other than with advertising. How do you react when your child asks for your PayPal account because she would like to donate money to her favorite musician on Spotify?

Paying for creative content on the web

Creators are people who publish content on the web – i.e. influencers, musicians, authors, etc. Many of them earn their money through income from advertising contracts or placed advertising and by having their content, such as songs or podcasts, listened to via streaming services. However, not all creative people can live on this alone. Creators can also be financially supported by their fans through fundraisers and certain platforms. In this way, their fans show them that the content is important to them and valuable to them. The support enables artists to become less dependent on commercial platforms and additionally offer their fans exclusive content.

Paid content on the Internet is becoming more and more commonplace. Read more about this in our article “Everything free on the net?“.

Where is paid content available and what is behind it?

Apart from paid subscriptions, accounts and apps, there are support options via dedicated platforms and streaming services.


Who certain creators on Spotify might know the donate button on their person page. Through it, fans can donate money via PayPal podcasters, musicians and bands. Not all artists have this button. Since this is a donation, the amount is not fixed. Also, fans don’t get any benefits from this, but they support the person so that they can continue to produce content in the future.


Steady is a kind of crowdfunding platform from Germany. Crowdfunding means that many people (crowd) finance the work of a few people. The special thing about Steady is that interested people and fans regularly support media makers by paying a certain amount for a membership every month. In return, they receive exclusive content via the artist or creator’s Steady page or social media platforms. For example, these can be Instagram stories that only Steady users see or podcast episodes that only subscribers can listen to. Steady requires free registration. Some operators of Steady projects also offer free content, e.g. the newsletter “Schreibers Naturariums“.


Patreon works similarly to Steady, but comes from the USA. Here, too, creatives can regularly receive a self-determined amount of money from their fans. The fans are called “patrons,” which means “sponsors” in German. Interested parties can find global creators from the fields of podcast, music, video/film, games, education, etc. here. Patrons can support the Creators by making a monthly contribution or paying for the use of individual content.

What should you pay attention to?

Has your child already expressed interest in exclusive content from a Creator? Consider together whether it makes sense to invest pocket money. The advertising freedom is an advantage on sites like Steady and Patreon. Nevertheless, you should find out what content the person publishes before you allow your child to spend money on it.

Consider together how many Creators can be supported and for how long. For example, if you agree with your child that one or two supports are okay at a certain price, he or she will have to cancel another support request first. Otherwise, more pocket money may be spent on it than available.

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