Facebook to take on Patreon with Fan Subscriptions… There’s are some rather big catches though

It’s a bad deal for creators and a bad deal for everyone else.

Facebook have started rolling out a subscription platform that will play in roughly the same space as Patreon – effectively giving users of the service the opportunity to offer exclusive perks to paying ‘subscribers’. It could be a decent option for monetizing content and creations for a lot of people; that is unless you consider some of the onerous terms Facebook have lumped upon the service.

First Zuckerberg’s behemoth is reserving the right to retain a 30% cut of all subscriptions compared to Patreon’s much more reasonable 5%. Not only that, one of their terms is:

If you are providing (or allowing us to access) any data, content, or other information in connection with your use of Fan Subscriptions (collectively, “Supplemental Data”), then you grant us (and our affiliates) a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use such Supplemental Data. This license survives even if you stop using Fan Subscriptions.

Not only are you granting Facebook the rights to YOUR content, you’re doing it even if you stop providing said content through ‘Fan Subscriptions.

Finally Facebook are also going to be offering ‘free’ trials to subscriptions, effectively giving YOUR content away for free with no compensation to creators.

Facebook reserves the right to offer discounted and free trials for fans from time to time in our discretion, whether to incentivize Subscription sign-ups or otherwise. Where we do so in relation to your Fan Subscriptions, your revenue share will be reduced accordingly

Not such a good idea now is it? Bear in mind that Facebook have history in allowing creators to build huge audiences on their platform and THEN restricting access to their audiences by limiting news feed posts, hiding many from followers eyes completely. For example, The Digital Fix has over 3,000 followers of our Facebook page but we’re lucky if Facebook’s algorithms show our content to 10% of those people.

These terms may well be ‘options’ to Facebook, but if they’re there we can assume that Facebook intend to use them. They might tempt creators in with lower revenue shares but their assertion of rights to increase their share to 30% are fixed in the conditions that creators will have to sign up to. There are already better options available to creators so Facebook are going to have a hard time selling this service to anyone.

Source: Matt Saincome on Twitter.

Colin Polonowski

Updated: Feb 27, 2019

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Facebook to take on Patreon with Fan Subscriptions… There’s are some rather big catches though | The Digital Fix