Dornubari Vizor April 2, 2023

Guide: 14 Amazing Alternatives To Patreon (Reviews, Pricing, Pros & Cons )

Patreon has been a favorite for content creators for a decade now. It still stands as a strong membership platform. But it’s not the only option in the market. In fact, you can find many Patreon alternatives now. If you are looking for one, you are just in the right spot.

Here’s a quick round-off for the best Patreon alternatives available with pros and cons.

1 – GroupApp

GroupApp is an excellent Patreon alternative to consider. While Patreon makes it possible to host your fan community, GroupApp allows you to host your online community and online courses and set up membership subscription plans all within the same platform.

When you switch to GroupApp, you can charge your online community members membership subscription fees and create and sell online courses to monetize your community.


Membership Subscription Feature

When you sign up for GroupApp, you can charge your members a monthly, quarterly, and yearly membership subscription to monetize your community. You don’t have to depend on donations. Build a recurring business revenue instead, and focus on providing the best content possible for your community members. You can choose between four different currencies and efficiently monetize your community.

Easy-to-Use Online Course Builder

Unlike Patreon, GroupApp offers a free and easy-to-use online course builder, and you can build and sell online courses to your community members within the platform. You can enhance your course lessons with embedded HTML content to provide more value to your students.

Third-Party Integration

With GroupApp, third-party integration is a smooth breeze. You can integrate a variety of software tools, such as Mailchimp, Zapier, HubSpot, etc.

Complete Control Over Your Community

Various alternatives to Patreon allow you to build a community, but not many will enable you to own it. Luckily, GroupApp gives you control and ownership over your community. Meaning you can export your data at any time and communicate with your community on your terms.


No Donation or Tip Option

Unlike some other alternatives to Patreon, GroupApp doesn’t have the option for one-time donations. This makes it similar to Patreon, which also offers only recurring monthly, quarterly, and annual memberships.

Requires Stripe for Payments

To set up membership subscriptions on GroupApp, you need to have a Stripe merchant account.

2 – Buy Me A Coffee

Buy me a coffee is one of the best Patreon alternatives that allow content creators to get paid by their community. It was created on January 2nd of 2018, by Jijo and Joseph Sunny.

It features three main community monetization products:


Buttons can be made that feature on your WordPress website. They can also be used on Tumblr, DeviantArt, or Medium sites. The buttons come in orange and yellow.

Coffee Links

Coffee links are particular site hyperlinks that content creators can send to their audience. The link allows them to donate. It’s described on the main website as “like for payments.”

WordPress Plugin

The Buy me a coffee WordPress plugin allows you to place your button anywhere on your site.


Competitive Platform Fee

Buy me a coffee charges a 5% platform fee, and it is the same for every creator irrelevant of their country or location. Compared to other Patreon alternatives, this is a very competitive rate. Lots of other Patreon alternatives charge more.

Easy Software Integration

Like Memberful, “Buy me a coffee” has a plugin and on-site integration. This makes it easy to connect it with analytics, marketing, sales, and email software/plugins.


Limited Donation Amount

Donations can only be $3, $4, or $5. Other platforms allow for much more significant amounts.

No Membership Tiers/Levels

Buy me a coffee works more like a standard donation box than a membership subscription.


The “Buy me a coffee” gimmick might confuse some people. People know what Patreon is but do they understand what this branded platform is? Do they even know it’s a recurring donations platform?

3 – Subscribe Star

SubscribeStar describes itself as “an online content marketplace that operates on a subscription basis.” This makes this more exclusive platform one of the best Patreon alternatives.

Here is what you need to know:

  • It allows creators to upload exclusive content and sell memberships for access
  • Creators may sell multiple levels of membership
  • SubscribeStar takes a 5% cut on all earnings
  • Processing fee of 2.9% + $0.3


Low Platform Fee

At 5%, SubscribeStar has a lower, more competitive rate than other Patreon alternatives out there.

You Will Not Get Shutdown/De-platformed

SubscribeStar brands itself as a free-speech alternative to Patreon. Its users are primarily Patreon castoffs, people with conservative political affiliations, and pornographic digital content authors.


No PayPal or Stripe

Both PayPal and Stripe decided to cut ties with SubscribeStar. This makes it less viable for many established niche creators and subscribers. Many people see PayPal/Stripe accessibility as a sign of professionalism.

Payment Withdrawal Restrictions

You can only withdraw every two weeks, and you have to have at least $150 in earnings. The minimum withdrawal is $5.

4 – Ko-fi

Ko-fi is one of the best Patreon alternatives that has become rather popular recently. The platform was created in late 2017, although its origins date back to as early as 2012. Ko-fi has over 300,000 pages and has transferred $12 million from fans to creators.

It works similarly to Patreon; creators invite their community to a personalized Ko-fi page, where they can make donations.


No Payment Delays

Because Ko-fi doesn’t take a cut, the payments are direct. There is no waiting period.

Lower Content Demand

Unlike Patreon, Ko-fi doesn’t force you to put out content for your subscribers consistently. You will not get kicked off the platform as you might on Patreon.


Gimmicky Donation

The “Buy me a coffee” gimmick might be off-putting to some people. Some prefer a clean-cut approach. This can be changed with Ko-fi Gold.

Same Genre Deplatforming As Patreon

If you create certain types of content, such as explicit adult or far-right political content, you will be subject to the same de-platforming as on Patreon. This is covered in the Ko-fi terms of service.

5 – Memberful

Memberful was founded in 2013 to help content producers sell memberships to their communities. This Patreon alternative is different in that it is a website plugin. It also happens to be owned by Patreon as of August 2018.

Memberful uses Stripe for recurring payment transactions. Stripe is an online payment processing platform used by some of the biggest companies in the world.


More Control

Having it on your website allows you more control. Think of the marketing and advertising campaigns you can run on your website. Such things are much more limited on Patreon.

Easy Software Integration

Because Memberful is a website plugin, it makes it easy to integrate other software, plugins, and your apps. This makes email marketing, Google analytics, and sales much more integrated into your membership platform.


Requires A Website

Memberful is a website plugin, which means you’ll need a website. A website costs money; you need a domain name and hosting. Other platforms don’t require these additional expenses.

Higher Transaction Fees

Memberful has a 10% transaction fee, double that of Patreon. This can be lowered by purchasing a “Pro” or “Premium” membership package. This, however, comes with a monthly expense.

6 – Podia

Podia is a Patreon alternative that allows creators to sell digital downloads, online courses, and digital downloads to their community. The platform was created in 2014 by Spencer Fry.

There are three main community monetization features of Podia.

Online Courses

Podia offers the ability to create and sell courses and work on one-time projects. This provides a way for content creators to monetize their communities.


Podia offers membership software for those that want to create an exclusive site for their community.

Digital Downloads

Podia lets you sell digital downloads, such as eBooks, PDFs, videos, and audio products.


More Ways To Make Content

Podia has more features that allow content creators to monetize their communities. An online course is an example of this.

No Transaction Fee

Podia does not take any percentage from your earnings. Depending on which plan you choose, you pay a monthly fee of either $39 or $79 a month.


Podia houses online courses, digital products, and membership sites all in one. Instead of having a separate WordPress Membership site and a Udemy for courses, it’s all right there.



Although Podia has no transaction fees, it is still quite expensive. This is too expensive for low-level content creators at $39/month and $79/month.

7 – Steady

Steady is a subscription-crowdfunding platform with close to 80,000 members. Co-funded by the Google Digital News Initiative, this crowdfunding platform is mainly used by bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers, online magazine editors, and open-source developers. Steady may be more or less suitable depending on your target audience, as it is primarily focused on the European market.


Recurring Payments

Unlike classic crowdfunding platforms that enable one-time financial support for creative projects, Steady allows you to receive recurring monthly payments. There’s no time limit.

Supports Several Currencies

Depending on your target country, you can choose from various currencies and determine which one works best for your Steady pricing and payouts.

Access to Statistics

You get access to real-time statistics. This can help you keep track of your membership program by analyzing page visitor numbers, monthly revenue, and membership figures.


Platform Fees

Steady takes a cut of 10%, so you also need to pay to use this platform in addition to the payment processing fees.

Focused on the European Market

Founded in Germany, Steady is a part of primarily European crowdfunding platforms, i.e., it is focused on the European market. If you want to grow your business and gain traction in the US, this might not be the right platform for you.

8 – SuperCast

Supercast is an excellent crowdfunding platform for podcasters. It allows you to turn your loyal listeners into paying members. Creators can offer paying subscribers ad-free versions of their podcasts and give them access to exclusive content.


Flat Rate

Unlike Patreon and other Patreon alternatives, Supercast charges a flat $0.59 a month per subscriber. This means that, even when your revenue grows, you will still pay the same amount per subscriber.

Rich Analytics

You get access to valuable data, which helps you get a clear picture of your listeners’ wants. This, in turn, can help you grow your business. You can analyze total and recurring revenue, churn, average revenue per user, etc. – all standard metrics as with Google analytics.


Limited to Podcasts

Supercast is one of the best Patreon alternatives for podcasting. But if you’re looking for a free app like Patreon for some other type of content, this is not the solution for you.

Flat Rate Can Still Cost You a Lot

Paying a flat rate can turn out to be an expensive deal, too, depending on how much you charge your community members.

9 – Only Fans

OnlyFans is a content subscription service. The popularity of this membership platform grew in the past two years, thanks to the concept of content creators earning money from users who subscribe to their content—the “fans.” The content creators can receive funding directly from their fans every month as well as one-time tips and the pay-per-view feature


Good for beginners

OnlyFans is a good option for people at the beginning of community building. Even if you don’t have a large base of community members or fans, you can still start OnlyFans. The algorithm will help you find people interested in the content you provide. Better yet, it will help them find you!

Good source of income

OnlyFans allows you to charge your members/fans directly through the platform and set the price you find suitable. This will enable you to build a passive source of income that will come continuously.


Platform Fee

With OnlyFans, there are platform fees you should be aware of. Besides the size of your community, the platform fee determines how much you will be able to earn. You can check this calculator that estimates how much you could make on OnlyFans, determined by your current following and your chosen subscription price.

10 – Substack

Substack is a platform that enables writers to start an email newsletter and earn money from subscriptions. If you consider yourself a writer, Substack might be a good choice for you.

Writers receive a content management system (CMS) built for publishing email newsletters, integrated payments through Stripe, and a website that can host free and subscriber-only content.


Easy for Beginners

If you are just beginning with content writing, you don’t have to worry about getting first clients or convincing them to hire you. Substack allows you to add your regular readers to the mailing list and start charging them right away. It is also user-friendly, which means it will be easy for you to design and organize your newsletters, and your readers will enjoy it even more.

Creativity and Freedom

Every artist looks for a platform that enables creativity and freedom. Substack is one of those! There are many different spheres and niches within Substack, allowing almost every writer to find a topic that suits them. In other words, you can use Substack to write about issues that are important to you (and get paid for that!).


Minimum subscription of $5 per month

You are obliged to charge a minimum subscription of $5 per month. This is not the best option for many writers, as people need to feel the trust to be ready to invest $5 a month for a newsletter subscription.

Transaction Fees

The fees are the biggest downside of Substack. You should be aware of Substack’s 10% cut, Stripe’s 2.9%, and the $.30 per transaction fee. Remember that you will also be charged income tax eventually, so your earnings will not be that high with Substack.

11 – Flattr

Flattr is a Swedish-based subscription service that enables people to support their favorite websites and creators by paying monthly patronage. One-time donations are also an option.


Affiliate Program

Creators can implement an affiliate program. If you choose this option, you need to recommend Flattr to as many people as possible. You get $10 for each person to sign up for Flattr.


Platform Fee

You should be prepared to say goodbye to 10% of your revenue each month (5% for the platform fee and 5% for the payment provider), plus $3 per withdrawal.

No Control Over the Platform

Creators have no control over Flattr. As a result, you have no control over your community, either.

12 – Liberapay

Liberapay is a platform that helps content creators get financial support for their work through donations.

Founded in 2015 in France, this crowdfunding platform is now available worldwide and covers 33 currencies. It’s not hard for a content creator to run a successful crowdfunding campaign on this all-in-one platform.


Low Platform Fees

Unlike Patreon and some other alternatives to Patreon, Liberapay does not take a cut of donations made. However, there are payment processing fees.

Supports Multiple Languages

Your profile description and content can be translated into as many as 124 languages, so people worldwide can support you even if they don’t speak English.

Open-Source Software

Unlike Patreon and many other alternatives to Patreon, Liberapay is built on open-source software.


Small and Relatively New Platform

Not many people have heard of Liberapay, so your exposure might be pretty limited if you decide to present your exclusive content on this platform.

No Rewards

Unlike Patreon, Liberapay doesn’t give you the option to reward your patrons for supporting you, which may affect your “relationship” in the long run.

13 – YouTube Channel Memberships

In mid-2018, YouTube announced the release of YouTube Channel Memberships. Channel memberships are an exclusive, members-only section of a YouTuber’s account.

Members pay a monthly fee for exclusive videos, posts, live chats, badges, and emojis, as with other membership platforms.


Great For Video Content Creators

YouTube is the premier platform for video content creators. Those looking to monetize their communities with exclusive content would go to Patreon. Now, with channel memberships, they don’t have to.

No Transaction Fee For Payment Processing

On this membership platform, YouTube covers all transaction costs. This is supposedly covered in the 30% cut YouTube takes from all membership earnings.


YouTube Takes 30%

YouTube takes a massive 30% of earnings. This is quite dramatic compared to Patreon’s 5% and other best Patreon alternatives rates.

Only Viable For Big Channels

You need at least 30,000 subscribers. YouTube channel memberships are not optimal for smaller content creators.

Only Suitable For Video Content Creators

Patreon has more than just YouTubers looking to keep their income afloat amidst demonetization. YouTube is a platform based on visual content. Naturally, channel memberships have no use for non-video content creators.

There You Go!

Patreon has a monopoly on the subscription crowdfunding game. It has this for no other reason than being the first. Patreon does not offer a better service. Its search function is lacking. People do not browse the platform to find content creators.

This is why it is not essential. You don’t have to use it. Your income comes from your community which Patreon does not build. It simply hosts it.

There are so many other platforms to monetize your community out there. In this post, highlighted are 14 Patreon alternatives, some of which offer free trials.

Choose any one of them, and you are sure to find success. Our warm recommendation is GroupApp – a platform that has all the features you could possibly need. Join GroupApp and start building your community for free!


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