The Patreon Alternative for Video Creators: Subscription Video on Special

Written by
Special HQ
 on 
November 16, 2020

There is a major shift unfolding among video creators and their audiences. 

YouTubers, podcasters, filmmakers, musicians, comedians, and other video creators are realizing a shift towards independent creative control and financial freedom; a shift to direct-to-fan subscription video. 

Here we will address Patreon as a platform for creators and how Special differentiates itself as the best Patreon alternative, specifically designed for video creators.

  • Special is designed for establishing your subscription video business whereas Patreon is designed for “support” and donations, limiting the perceived value of your content. 
  • Special displays your videos in an exploratory catalog whereas Patreon displays your content in a linear news feed, limiting your viewer’s depth of engagement and ability to binge watch your content. 
  • Creators upload their videos directly to Special so they can control their viewers premium experience and their videos can be discovered by search engines whereas on Patreon, creators post “unlisted” YouTube videos driving their viewers back to YouTube and eliminating their ability to be discovered organically.
  • Special is built specifically for video creators to stream direct-to-fan and for viewers to curate their bundle of creators and content they love whereas Patreon is built for any and everyone and therefore not optimized for video creators and viewers specifically.
Creators want to tell stories that they are passionate about, produce authentically for an audience that loves what they do, and directly engage with their true fans. 

Up until, now creators have leveraged Patreon, a creator support platform where fans can donate directly to creators that they follow. Patreon and other donation-based platforms are similar to the likes of a gofundme. Creators predominantly distribute their content for free on social media and then use Patreon as a donation mechanism to support further production of their creative works.

Donations (Support) Vs. Business (Subscribe) 

As a creator, every piece of content in your catalog is a representation of your brand and the value of your work. On Patreon, content can be perceived as of a lesser value when aligned with a call for donations and support. It is important to establish your content and brand as a business that continuously delivers value to your niche audience. 

On Special, creators launch their own subscription video business elevating their content’s value. Special enables creators to not only present their catalog in a cutting edge viewing experience, but to also leverage enterprise monetization and distribution tools to acquire and retain paid subscribers.

Content Feed vs. Exploratory Catalog 

Content management and organization on Patreon is not designed nor optimized for video. On Patreon, creators’ content is displayed inside of a linear feed. This way, content production is tailored to scrolling post updates like Facebook. Your audience must scroll page after page in order to explore and discover your content catalog leaving much of your premium content unseen.

On Special, creators’ content is presented in an exploratory catalog similar to Netflix or other major streaming services. Creators can organize and present their content intelligently by featured films, series, and episodes. And with built-in recommendation engines, creators can retain their audiences within their content longer and maximize their value of yesterday’s classics along with today's new releases.

Unlisted YouTube Videos vs. Native Video Upload 

On Patreon, video creators predominantly post “unlisted” YouTube videos to their feed. Creators are looking for platforms to get away from YouTube, its algorithm, and constraints on free speech. Yet, by posting unlisted YouTube videos on Patreon, creators are in fact driving their supporter audience back to YouTube. “Unlisted” YouTube videos can not be discovered by search engines because they are in-fact “unlisted,” therefore missing out on organic traffic and conversions. 

On Special, creators upload their content directly to Special. Creators get free HD video upload and hosting and all creator videos are indexed for search engines for organic discovery and subscriber conversion. Better yet, your subscribers are not directed to YouTube, as you can retain them all within your exploratory catalog on Special. Additionally, by uploading your video content natively to Special, your content will be able to be accessed by your audience via our mobile app and smartTV suite of apps.

For Anything vs. Video Streaming Specific 

On Patreon, you’ll find everything from non-profits seeking recurring donations to fine artists seeking support for their paintings to YouTubers trying to avoid the algorithm. This cluster of many different creators causes confusion for creators on how to properly optimize their offerings, and for consumers on what they should be using the platform for. 

On Special, every creator is a video creator offering a premium subscription video on demand catalog. This way, creators can follow a consistent path to optimizing their Special and consumers always understand exactly how to maximize their viewing experience by curating a unique bundle of their favorite creators on Special.

Special is a platform for creators to launch their own direct-to-fan subscription streaming service.

Special enables creators to own their audience, maximize recurring revenue, and establish their content business.

Viewers subscribe directly to creators and content, curating their unique bundle of subscription media.


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