Defy Media was an American digital media company that produced original online content for the 12–34 age group. Founded in 1996 as Alloy Online, the final company was formed in 2013 by its merger with Break Media. On November 6, 2018, the company ceased operations. Several former employees blamed poor financial management, while high overhead from YouTube, legal troubles, overly-aggressive expansion, a shrinking advertising market were described as contributing factors. Alloy, Inc. was founded in 1996 by James K. Johnson and Matthew Diamond as a holding company for Alloy, a teen-oriented magazine and website. By the time the company went public in May 1999, the website earned $15.5 million in monthly revenue and 1.3 million registered users. In January 2000, they purchased book publisher 17th Street Productions, renaming it Alloy Entertainment. Alloy's additional early assets included Delia's, CCS.com, Channel One News. In 2009, Alloy created. Alloy was made private through acquisition by an investment group led by Zelnick Media Capital in 2010, was re-incorporated as Alloy Digital in 2011.
Within the next two years, Alloy Digital acquired Smosh, Themis Media, Generate LA-NY, Clevver Media. Zelnick sold Alloy Entertainment to Warner Bros. Television in 2012. In October 2013, Alloy Digital and Break Media merged to become Defy Media; the deal was brokered by RBC Capital Markets, the resulting entity was owned in part by Zelnick Media, ABS Capital Partners, Lionsgate. Viacom purchased a stake of Defy Media in 2014, in exchange for ownership of GameTrailers, Addicting Games, Shockwave. In 2016, Defy settled a $70MM investment by Wellington Management Company, Zelnick Media exited from investment in 2017. In March 2018, Defy Media laid off 8% of its headcount, exiting its programmatic advertising and video licensing and syndication businesses. In June, multiple publishers claimed. One of those publishers, filed a lawsuit for $300,000. In July, Defy sold The Escapist to Enthusiast Gaming, sold ScreenJunkies to Fandom. On November 6, 2018, Defy Media announced that it was shutting down operations effective and laying off all employees at its Beverly Hills production office.
Less than a day after this announcement, the company's assets were frozen by creditors. Former employees and executives blamed unrealistic investments. An over-reliance on major social media platforms and changes in market-space for new media were described as contributing factors. Smosh's CEO Ian Hecox stated. On February 22, 2019, Mythical Entertainment acquired Smosh. Defy Media's former Head of Audience Development, Matthew "MatPat" Patrick, stated that the company stole $1.7 million dollars from him and other YouTubers. He claimed that the company was a Ponzi scheme and was using YouTube creators' money in order to look more attractive to outside investors. Defy Media owned and operated online brands including Smosh, Shut Up! Cartoons, Smosh Games, Clevver Media, Break.com, The Escapist, AddictingGames.com, MadeMen, CagePotato, The Warp Zone and Chickipedia, with some brands being inherited from Break Media. Each of these brands operated a dedicated website and YouTube channel in or about comedy, filmed entertainment, video games, viral content, girl culture, men culture, or MMA.
Defy Media's online program offerings included The Single Life, The Confession, Fashion on the Fly, Dating Rules, Style Rules, Style Setters, The Sub. According to ComScore, Defy counted more than 38 million followers among its owned brands, reaching 221 million unique visitors each month. Together, its channels reached over 80 million video viewers monthly. Defy Media owned various brands including viral video site Break.com, MadeMen, flash game sites AddictingGames.com, Shockwave.com, DIY prop, cosplay channel Awe. Me, Prank It FWD. Over the years, Defy Media shuttered numerous websites and channels underperforming ones left over from the Alloy Digital and Break Media merger that formed the company. Among these former sites include MMA website CagePotato, HolyTaco, AllLeftTuns, TuVez. Defy Media sold off some brands to other companies. Shut Up! Cartoons was launched as a spin-off of Smosh in April 2012, it featured animated videos. The channel ranked in the top 25 for weekly views. Original animated series featured on the channel included Zombies vs. Ninjas, Krogzilla Gets a Job, Oishi High School Battle, Smosh Babies, Paper Cuts.
The channel ceased operations on June 23, 2017. The site focuses on television related topics; the group includes Screen Junkies News ClevverMovies. ScreenJunkies is home for shows like Honest Trailers, a series of parody trailers of films, The Screen Junkies Show which covers a variety of topics in film and television, Movie Fights & TV Fights where cast debates various films or TV shows. On October 6, 2017, co-creator Andy Signore was suspended by Defy Media after accusations of sexual assault and sexual harassment made by female fans and coworkers became public. Several of the women claimed that complaints made to Defy Media's HR department and management about the incidents had been suppressed or ignored by the company for several months until the women involv
A trailer is a commercial advertisement for a feature film that will be exhibited in the future at a cinema, the result of creative and technical work. The term "trailer" dates back to the distribution of movies on reels of film; the reels were always distributed un-rewound. Therefore, the end of the movie was the most accessible part, to which previews were spliced, "trailing" the film. Movie trailers have now become popular on DVDs and Blu-ray discs, as well as on the Internet and mobile devices. Of some 10 billion videos watched online annually, film trailers rank third, after news and user-created video; the trailer format has been adopted as a promotional tool for television shows, video games and theatrical events/concerts. The first trailer shown in an American film theater was in November 1913, when Nils Granlund, the advertising manager for the Marcus Loew theater chain, produced a short promotional film for the musical The Pleasure Seekers, opening at the Winter Garden Theatre on Broadway.
As reported in a wire service story carried by the Lincoln, Nebraska Daily Star, the practice which Loew adopted was described as "an new and unique stunt", that "moving pictures of the rehearsals and other incidents connected with the production will be sent out in advance of the show, to be presented to the Loew's picture houses and will take the place of much of the bill board advertising". Granlund was first to introduce trailer material for an upcoming motion picture, using a slide technique to promote an upcoming film featuring Charlie Chaplin at Loew's Seventh Avenue Theatre in Harlem in 1914. Trailers were shown after, or "trailing", the feature film, this led to their being called "trailers"; the practice was found to be somewhat ineffective ignored by audiences who left after the feature. Exhibitors changed their practice so that trailers were only one part of the film program, which included cartoon shorts and serial adventure episodes. Today, more elaborate trailers and commercial advertisements have replaced other forms of pre-feature entertainment, in major multiplex chains, about the first 20 minutes after the posted showtime is devoted to trailers.
Up until the late 1950s, trailers were created by National Screen Service and consisted of various key scenes from the film being advertised augmented with large, descriptive text describing the story, an underscore pulled from studio music libraries. Most trailers had some form of narration, those that did featured stentorian voices. In the early 1960s, the face of motion picture trailers changed. Textless, montage trailers and quick-editing became popular due to the arrival of the "new Hollywood" and techniques that were becoming popular in television. Among the trend setters were Stanley Kubrick with his montage trailers for Lolita, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Kubrick's main inspiration for the Dr. Strangelove trailer was the short film Very Nice, Very Nice by Canadian film visionary Arthur Lipsett. Pablo Ferro, who pioneered the techniques Kubrick required as necessary elements for the success of his campaign, created the Dr. Strangelove trailer, as well as the award-winning trailer for A Clockwork Orange.
Many home videos contain trailers for other movies produced by the same company scheduled to be available shortly after the legal release of the video, so as not to spend money advertising the videos on TV. Most VHS tapes would play them at the beginning of the tape, but some VHS tapes contained previews at the end of the film or at both ends of the tape. VHS tapes that contained trailers at the end reminded the viewer to "Stay tuned after the feature for more previews." With DVDs and Blu-rays, trailers can operate as a bonus feature instead of having to watch through the trailers before the film. Trailers consist of a series selected shots from the film being advertised. Since the purpose of the trailer is to attract an audience to the film, these excerpts are drawn from the most exciting, funny, or otherwise noteworthy parts of the film but in abbreviated form and without producing spoilers. For this purpose the scenes are not in the order in which they appear in the film. A trailer has to achieve that in less than 2 minutes and 30 seconds, the maximum length allowed by the MPAA.
Each studio or distributor is allowed to exceed this time limit once a year, if they feel it is necessary for a particular film. In January 2014, the movie theater trade group National Association of Theatre Owners issued an industry guideline asking that film distributors supply trailers that run no longer than 2 minutes, 30 second shorter than the prior norm; the guideline is not mandatory, allows for limited exceptions of a select few movies having longer trailers. Film distributors reacted coolly to the announcement. There had been no visible disputes on trailer running time prior to the guideline, which surprised many; some trailers use "special shoot" footage, material, created for advertising purposes and does not appear in the actual film. The most notable film to use this technique was Terminator 2: Judgment Day, whose trailer featured an elaborate special effect scene of a T-800 Terminator being assembled in a factory, never intended to be in the film itself. Dimension Films shot extra scenes for their 2006 horror remake, Black Christmas - these scenes were used in promotional footage for the film
Rooster Teeth Productions, LLC is an American media and entertainment company headquartered in Austin and owned by Ellation, a division of Otter Media, which itself is a subsidiary of AT&T's WarnerMedia under its Warner Bros. unit. Rooster Teeth was founded by Burnie Burns, Matt Hullum, Geoff Ramsey, Jason Saldaña, Gus Sorola, Joel Heyman in 2003. Rooster Teeth began with the production of Red vs. Blue, which premiered in April 2003 and is still in production, making it the longest running web series of all time. Due to server and web hosting costs, the founders created "Sponsorships", now known as "FIRST", a subscription to exclusive and earlier access to content and discounts on their merchandise store, among other benefits; the company branched out into live-action shorts, comedy, Let's Play videos, full animated productions. Other projects include reality shows, video game development, entertainment news programs, podcasts. In 2015, Rooster Teeth released its feature-film debut a science-fiction action comedy.
The company hosts RTX, in several cities around the world. The company's videos are released on its own website and app while podcasts and Let's Plays are still released on their YouTube channel as well; as of March 2019, Rooster Teeth's primary YouTube channel has 9.6 million subscribers and has over 5.7 billion video views. Including all of their other channels, they maintain over 45 million subscribers. While attending the University of Texas at Austin, Burnie Burns and Matt Hullum collaborated with actor Joel Heyman on a 1997 independent film called The Schedule; the film helped Heyman to find work in Los Angeles, but otherwise had limited success. Working for a local company named Telenetwork, Burns met Geoff Ramsey, Gustavo Sorola, Dan Godwin, Jason Saldaña, the five formed drunkgamers.com, a website where the five reviewed various video games while drunk. According to Ramsey, the group tried to receive free games to review, but "incurred the wrath" of several game developers in doing so.
One of the nongameplay videos that the drunkgamers crew created during this time was a live-action parody of the Apple Switch ad campaign. This video featured Sorola as the main actor, used Peter Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" as background music, focused on the lack of games available for the Apple Macintosh computer. Sorola and Burns said that the name change from'Drunk Tank Podcast' to'Rooster Teeth Podcast' was for the same reason that'Drunk Gamers' was changed to'Rooster Teeth': Nobody would give games or sponsor something with'drunk' in the title "because it was so unprofessional." On settling on Rooster Teeth, Burns stated, "We named it something else to give people the idea that we were going to be doing more than that". The name "Rooster Teeth" is a euphemism for "cockbite", an insult from the original Red vs. Blue trailer that Burns described as a "touchstone for the audience". Among the company's core philosophies, Burns stated, "we only make content that we would want to see... it comes from a genuine space.
I think that our audience appreciates that voice". As of 2017, production costs for an episode vary from $15,000 to $100,000. Rooster Teeth's business strategy is a hybrid model composed of subscriptions, onsite preroll ads, YouTube preroll ads, licensed studio productions, branded merchandise, annual live events. Rooster Teeth has attributed their success to maintaining their own community site and was reluctant to join YouTube stating they viewed them as a "competitor". In 2014, having signed a two-year lease, the entire company moved into Stage 5 at Austin Studios. In November 2014, Rooster Teeth was acquired by Fullscreen for an undisclosed amount. Rooster Teeth agreed to be bought to give itself "the resources and tools" needed to compete against other producers. Burns elaborated by saying they consider Netflix, HBO, Amazon their current competition. On February 3, 2015, Burns confirmed that Rooster Teeth would be establishing an office in Los Angeles; these offices were used by Funhaus. The company released their feature film debut in 2015 with a science fiction comedy.
In 2016, Rooster Teeth hired three content executives to help with audience expansion: Luis Medina as Senior VP of Partnerships, Evan Bregman as Director of Programming and Ryan P. Hall as Head of Development. Medina will co-manage the Let's Play family with Ramsey, including Achievement Hunter and ScrewAttack, manage partnerships with third-party brands such as Cow Chop and Kinda Funny. Bregman will be responsible for programming strategy and boosting growth across all platforms such as apps, the community site, YouTube, Facebook. Hall will oversee Rooster Teeth's development slate and lead efforts to identify up-and-coming projects and talent; each year, the company participates in Extra Life, a gaming-themed fundraiser with Rooster Teeth's proceeds going to Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas. During their 2017 Extra Life stream, they raised a total of $1,209,970.73 USD. Their 2018 Extra Life stream raised over $1.4 million for Extra Life and Dell Children's Medical Center. On January 26, 2018, Fullscreen President and former COO Ezra Cooperstein was appointed as President of Rooster Teeth.
In May 2018, Rooster Teeth piloted five shows named Branded, Gorq's Quest, Achievement Haunter, Million Dollars, But... Animated, Rooster Teeth's Murder Room, announced Spikeface, a new 2D/dark comedy show to be coproduced with Rob McElhenney and his RCG Productions. In December 2018, Otter Media restructured Fullscreen, consolidating Rooster Teeth, along with Crunchyroll and VRV, under Ellation; the companies wi
Geoff Keighley is a Canadian video game journalist and television presenter. He was most known for hosting the video game show GameTrailers TV, for co-hosting the now-defunct G4tv.com. Keighley is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Kotaku, among other publications. Keighley was the executive producer of the Spike Video Game Awards, has served as the executive producer and host of The Game Awards since its inaugural show in 2014, he has hosted the E3 Coliseum event at the Electronic Entertainment Expo. Keighley's foray into video game reporting and presentation had been through Cybermania'94: The Ultimate Games Awards, the first video game awards show broadcast on television. Keighley was fourteen at the time, but was brought in to help write lines for the celebrity hosts to read; the show was not considered successful, aimed more for comedy than celebration, but from it, Keighley was inspired to develop some type of equivalent of the Academy Awards for video games in his career. In addition to GTTV, Keighley has been involved in many other video game-related projects on television.
On Comcast's G4 network, he appeared as the network's lead anchor for its E3 press conference coverage, interviewing CEOs from companies like Sony and Electronic Arts. For MTV he created the concept and produced "Gears of War: Race to E3" and "Gears of War: Race to Launch," two specials that took viewers inside the development of the hit Xbox 360 game from Microsoft, and in 2007, the Discovery Channel aired a five-hour documentary on releases including those of such companies as World of Wonder Productions, based on a treatment by Keighley, who served as consulting producer. Geoff has hosted and co-produced a number of video game launch specials for Spike TV, including "Madden NFL 08 Kickoff" featuring a performance by Ozzy Osbourne and "Halo 3: Launched!" Featuring a performance by Linkin Park. He was interviewed on what became a controversial Fox News' segment on Mass Effect, was praised by gamers online for being the only one on the show who had played the game. Keighley is known for writing reviews and previews and going behind the scenes of the game industry for in-depth business profiles and lengthy feature pieces.
In a July 2008 interview on The Jace Hall Show, Keighley spoke about the importance of this process, stating "There's such a lack of investigative journalism. I wish. Dig into some of these bigger issues, so I could look at like, the'Red Ring of Death' problem. That's never been properly reported about, like what happens." However, he has faced criticism from some quarters for his willingness to positively present games to maintain exclusives, regardless of their actual quality, to accept industry PR at face value in an October 2012 column published in Eurogamer. In December 2016, Keighley was picked as a judge for the Viveport Developer Awards. Geoff was involved with Spike's Video Game Awards for many years until its final show in 2013. In 2014, Geoff created. In a column on Eurogamer, former journalist Robert Florence accused Keighley and others of being "in bed" with the video game industry; the controversial piece was met with both praise and criticism with several changes made by its editor Tom Bramwell due to legal action.
Official website Geoff Keighley on IMDb
Firewatch is an adventure game developed by Campo Santo and published by Campo Santo in partnership with Panic. The game was released in February 2016 for Microsoft Windows, OS X, PlayStation 4, for Xbox One in September 2016, for Nintendo Switch in December 2018; the story follows a fire lookout named Henry in the Shoshone National Forest, a year after the Yellowstone fires of 1988. A month after his first day at work, strange things begin happening to him and his supervisor Delilah, which connects to a conspired mystery that happened years ago. Henry interacts with Delilah using a walkie-talkie, with the player choosing from dialog options to communicate, his exchanges with Delilah inform the process. The game was directed by Olly Moss and Sean Vanaman, written by Chris Remo, Jake Rodkin and Vanaman, produced by Gabe McGill and artist Jane Ng; the game's environment was modelled based on a single painting by Moss. The design draws inspiration from New Deal advertisements by the National Park Service and field research conducted in Yosemite National Park.
The game received positive reviews, earning praise for its story, characters and visual style. However, the presence of technical issues and the game's ending were both subjects of criticism. Firewatch won the award for Best 3D Visual Experience at the Unity Awards 2016, Best Indie Game at the 2016 Golden Joystick Awards, Best Narrative at the 2017 Game Developers Choice Awards and Debut Game at the 2017 British Academy Games Awards. By late 2016, the game had sold over a million copies. Campo Santo partnered with Good Universe to make it into a film. Firewatch is an adventure game played from a first-person view that takes place in the American state of Wyoming in 1989. Players take on the role of Henry, a fire lookout, assigned to his own tower in Shoshone National Forest. Through exploration of the surrounding area, Henry uncovers clues about mysterious occurrences in the vicinity that are related to the ransacking of his tower while out on a routine patrol and a shadowy figure that appears watching him from afar.
Henry's only means of communication is a walkie-talkie connecting him to Delilah. Players may choose from a number of dialog options to speak with her upon the discovery of new interactive objects or environments, or can refrain from communicating; the player's choices will influence the tone of Henry's relationship with Delilah. As the story progresses, new areas will be opened up for players; the game features a day-night cycle. Objects found in the wilderness can be kept in the inventory for use. Following the Yellowstone fires of 1988, Henry takes a job as a fire lookout in Wyoming after his wife develops advanced early-onset dementia. On his first day, Delilah, a lookout in another watchtower, contacts him via walkie-talkie and asks him to investigate illegal fireworks by the lake. Henry discovers a pair of drunken teenage girls. On his way home he spots a shadowy figure watching him, he returns to his watchtower to find it ransacked. The next day, Delilah asks Henry to investigate a downed communication line.
He finds it cut, with a note signed by the teens. He and Delilah plot to scare the girls off, but when he finds the girls' campsite ransacked and abandoned, they begin to worry. A note left at the site blames Henry for stealing their belongings. Henry finds an old backpack and a disposable camera belonging to a boy named Brian Goodwin, who Delilah explains was a lookout with his father Ned. Ned was an outdoorsman who drank due to his traumatic experiences in the Vietnam War, while his son, enjoyed fantasy novels and role-playing games. Though it is against the rules for employees to bring their children to the towers, Delilah was fond of Brian and lied about his presence, he and Ned left abruptly and never returned. The teenage girls are reported missing. Fearing an inquiry, Delilah falsifies reports to say that neither she nor Henry encountered the girls. By the lake the next day, Henry discovers a radio and a clipboard with notes including transcripts of his conversations with Delilah, he is knocked unconscious by an unseen assailant.
He wakes to find the radio gone. In a meadow referred to on the clipboard letterhead he finds a fenced-off government research area, he breaks in and discovers surveillance equipment and typewritten reports detailing his and Delilah's conversations and private lives. He discovers a tracking device which he takes with him. Henry and Delilah discuss destroying the government camp; as Henry hikes home, someone sets fire to the camp. The next day he uses the tracking device to find a backpack with a key to the cave. Delilah reports a figure in Henry’s tower; when Henry enters the cave, someone locks the gate behind him. He escapes through another exit and discovers Brian's old hiding spot, where he went to escape his father when he tried to teach him how to climb, he goes deeper into the cave using climbing equipment left at Brian's camp, discovers Brian's decomposed body at the bottom of a cavern. Delilah is upset by the news; the next day, the fire at the government camp has grown out of control and an evacuation order is given for all the lookouts.
As Henry prepares to leave, the tracking device begins beeping. He discovers a tape with a recording from Ned. Ned claims in the tape that Brian's death was accidental, t
A podcast or generically netcast, is an episodic series of digital audio or video files which a user can download in order to listen to. It is available for subscription, so that new episodes are automatically downloaded via web syndication to the user's own local computer, mobile application, or portable media player; the word was suggested by Ben Hammersley as a portmanteau of "iPod" and "broadcast". The files distributed are in audio format, but may sometimes include other file formats such as PDF or EPUB. Videos which are shared following a podcast model are sometimes called video vodcasts; the generator of a podcast maintains a central list of the files on a server as a web feed that can be accessed through the Internet. The listener or viewer uses special client application software on a computer or media player, known as a podcatcher, which accesses this web feed, checks it for updates, downloads any new files in the series; this process can be automated to download new files automatically, which may seem to users as though new episodes are broadcast or "pushed" to them.
Files are stored locally on the user's device, ready for offline use. There are many different mobile applications available for people to use to subscribe and to listen to podcasts. Many of these applications allow users to download podcasts or to stream them on demand as an alternative to downloading. Many podcast players allow listeners to control the playback speed; some have labeled podcasting as a converged medium bringing together audio, the web, portable media players, as well as a disruptive technology that has caused some individuals in the radio business to reconsider established practices and preconceptions about audiences, consumption and distribution. Podcasts are free of charge to listeners and can be created for little to no cost, which sets them apart from the traditional model of "gate-kept" media and production tools. Podcast creators can monetize their podcasts by allowing companies to purchase ad time, as well as via sites such as Patreon, which provides special extras and content to listeners for a fee.
Podcasting is much a horizontal media form – producers are consumers, consumers may become producers, both can engage in conversations with each other. "Podcast" is a portmanteau word, formed by combining "iPod" and "broadcast". The term "podcasting" as a name for the nascent technology was first suggested by The Guardian columnist and BBC journalist Ben Hammersley, who invented it in early February 2004 while "padding out" an article for The Guardian newspaper. Despite the etymology, the content can be accessed using any computer or similar device that can play media files. Use of the term "podcast" predated Apple's addition of formal support for podcasting to the iPod, or its iTunes software. Other names for podcasting include "net cast", intended as a vendor-neutral term without the loose reference to the Apple iPod; this name is used by shows from the TWiT.tv network. Some sources have suggested the backronym "portable on demand" or "POD", for similar reasons. In 2004, former MTV video jockey Adam Curry, in collaboration with Dave Winer – co-author of the RSS specification – is credited with coming up with the idea to automate the delivery and syncing of textual content to portable audio players.
Podcasting, once an obscure method of spreading audio information, has become a recognized medium for distributing audio content, whether for corporate or personal use. Podcasts are similar to radio programs in form, but they exist as audio files that can be played at a listener's convenience, anytime or anywhere; the first application to make this process feasible was iPodderX, developed by August Trometer and Ray Slakinski. By 2007, audio podcasts were doing what was accomplished via radio broadcasts, the source of radio talk shows and news programs since the 1930s; this shift occurred as a result of the evolution of internet capabilities along with increased consumer access to cheaper hardware and software for audio recording and editing. In October 2003, Matt Schichter launched. B. B. King, Third Eye Blind, Gavin DeGraw, The Beach Boys, Jason Mraz were notable guests the first season; the hour long radio show was recorded live, transcoded to 16kbit/s audio for dial-up online streaming. Despite a lack of a accepted identifying name for the medium at the time of its creation, The Backstage Pass which became known as Matt Schichter Interviews is believed to be the first podcast to be published online.
In August 2004, Adam Curry launched his show Daily Source Code. It was a show focused on chronicling his everyday life, delivering news, discussions about the development of podcasting, as well as promoting new and emerging podcasts. Curry published it in an attempt to gain traction in the development of what would come to be known as podcasting and as a means of testing the software outside of a lab setting; the name Daily Source Code was chosen in the hope that it would attract an audience with an interest in technology. Daily Source Code started at a grassroots level of production and was directed at podcast developers; as its audience became interested in the format, these developers were inspired to create and produce their own projects and, as a result, they improved the code used to create podcasts. As more people learned how easy it was to produce podcasts, a community of pioneer podcasters appeared. In June 2005, Apple released iTunes 4.9 which added formal support for podcasts, thus negating the need to use a separate program in order to download and transfer them to a mobile device.
While this made access to podcasts more
Patreon is a crowdfunding membership platform that provides business tools for creators to run a subscription content service, with ways for artists to build relationships and provide exclusive experiences to their subscribers, or "patrons". Patreon is popular among YouTube videographers, webcomic artists, podcasters and other categories of creators who post online, it allows artists to receive funding directly from their fans, or patrons, on a recurring basis or per work of art. The company, started by musician Jack Conte and developer Sam Yam in 2013, is based in San Francisco. In return for the service, Patreon charges a commission of 5% for each donation and 5% in transaction fees, thus allowing the creator to get 90% of the donations. Patreon was founded in May 2013 by musician Jack Conte, looking for a way to make a living from his popular YouTube videos. Together with Sam Yam he developed a platform that allows patrons to pay a set amount of money every time an artist creates a work of art.
The company raised $2.1 million in August 2013 from a group of venture capitalists and angel investors. In June 2014, Patreon raised a further $15 million in a series A round led by Danny Rimer of Index Ventures. In January 2016, the company closed on a fresh round of $30 million in a series B round, led by Thrive Capital, which put the total raised for Patreon at $47.1 million. They signed up more than 125,000 "patrons" in their first 18 months. In late 2014, the website announced that patrons were sending over $1,000,000 per month to the site's content creators. In March 2015, Patreon acquired Subbable, a similar voluntary subscription service created by the Green brothers and Hank Green, brought over Subbable creators and contents, including CGP Grey, Destin Sandlin's Smarter Every Day, the Green brothers' own CrashCourse and SciShow channels; the merger was consequent of an expected migration of payment systems with Amazon Payments that Subbable used. In October 2015, the site was the target of a large cyber-attack, with 15 gigabytes of password data, donation records, source code taken and published.
The breach exposed more than 2.3 million unique e-mail millions of private messages. Following the attack, some patrons received extortion emails demanding Bitcoin payments in exchange for the protection of their personal information. In July 2016, Patreon sent out an email to its users, announcing changes for its more adult-oriented creators. Notably, content creators working under the “Not Safe For Work” categories on Patreon can now accept payments through PayPal via PayPal's subsidiary Braintree; this move now allows Adult Content creators on Patreon to accept payment more easily. Prior to this change, these creators could only accept payments through credit cards. In January 2017, Patreon announced that it had sent over $100,000,000 to creators since its inception. In May 2017, Patreon announced that it had over 50,000 active creators, 1 million monthly patrons, was on track to send over $150 million to creators in 2017. In June 2017, Patreon announced a suite of tools for creators to run membership businesses on the Patreon platform.
Notable improvements included a CRM system, a mobile app called Lens, a service to set up exclusive livestreams. In August 2018, Patreon announced the acquisition of a membership services company. Patreon users are grouped by content type, such as video/films, comedy, comics and education; these content creators set up a page on the Patreon website, where patrons can choose to pay a fixed amount to a creator on a monthly basis. Alternatively, content creators can configure their page so that patrons pay every time the artist releases a new piece of art. A creator displays a goal that the ongoing revenue will go towards, can set a maximum limit of how much they receive per month. Patrons can cancel their payment at any time. Creators provide membership benefits for their patrons, depending on the amount that each patron pays. Patrons can unlock monetary tiers. A number of content creators on Patreon are YouTubers, they are able to create content on multiple platforms, while the YouTube videos may be available to the public, the patrons receive private content made for them in exchange for aiding the Patreon user’s goal.
Patreon takes a 5% commission on pledges. As of May 2017, the average pledge per patron was around $12, a new patron pledged to a creator every 5.5 seconds. As of February 2014 half of the artists on Patreon produce YouTube videos, while most of the rest are writers, webcomics artists, musicians, or podcasters; as of December 2016, Patreon's Community Guidelines allow nudity and suggestive imagery as long as they are marked, but prohibit content that may be deemed pornographic or as glorifying sexual violence. Unlike other online platforms such as YouTube and Facebook, which use trained algorithms to identify inappropriate content, Patreon's trust and safety team monitors users and investigates complaints of Terms of Service violations. In July 2017, conservative journalist and YouTube personality Lauren Southern was banned from Patreon over concerns about Génération Identitaire's blocking of NGO ships in the Mediterranean. A letter she received from Patreon said she was removed for "raising funds in order to take part in activities that are to cause loss of life," referring to an incident in May involving Southern, the larger Defend Europe mission in July, which she covered on YouTube.
Philosopher and podcast host Sam Harris, who received contributions from patrons on the website, objected to Patreon's approa