Gumroad vs Patreon: Which Platform is Best for You?

Aug 25, 2022 • 21 min read
Gumroad and Patreon are two platforms that allow creators to provide content to their audience and receive support. Compare all of their features here!

Gumroad and Patreon are two different platforms that allow online creators to get paid by their audience to create content. While these two websites do have a lot of similarities, they operate very differently. In this Gumroad vs Patreon guide, we will help you decide which one is right for your and your audience. Let's get started with a general overview of the features and benefits of each platform:

 

Gumroad

Patreon

Funding model

Recurring: Monthly

One-time payment: Order and purchase products from the gallery

Recurring: Monthly

Payouts

Every Friday + $10 cashout requirement

1st of every month

Size

45,917 active creators and 3.5M buyers

2,000,000+ active patrons; 100,000+ active creators

Company Founded

2011

2013

Highlighted Tools

  • Create a gallery for your digital products

  • Embed Gumroad gallery on another website

  • Set up subscriptions

  • Generate license keys

  • Android and iOS app

  • And more

  • Analytics

  • Public and gated posting

  • Community feedback

  • Merch for the membership program

  • Poll creation

  • Android and iOS app

  • And more

Highlighted Integrations

  • Mailchimp

  • Google sheets

  • Convertkit

  • Slack

  • Airtable

  • Discord

  • Vimeo

  • Crowdcast

  • Zapier

Fees

2.9%-9% of earnings

5% + $0.25/ transaction

Best for…

Online creators who run a business

Established online creators

Gumroad is better suited for casual creators who have their own products and services where people can visit their gallery and make an order. Patreon is better for creators who have large followings and are constantly posting exclusive content, early access, or giving out unique perks to their patrons.

What is Gumroad?

Gumroad is defined as a digital self-publishing marketplace intended to sell digital services such as books, memberships, courses, etc. This website creates an incredibly straightforward and transparent way to sell services without the headaches of more common marketplaces online.

What is gumroad

The way that it works is the creator will create a profile and portfolio that will display the products or services you are selling. Consumers can then select the work they would like to order, and once paid, a link will automatically be sent to them containing a download for the digital product.

As well as allowing creators to sell their digital work, Gumroad also has a monthly subscription option so that they can receive monthly support from their customers.

What is Patreon?

Patreon is similar to Gumroad in how it works but has quite a few differences that set it apart. This website is a membership platform that allows online creators to receive support from their fans. With Patreon, a creator's audience can subscribe to their page to see exclusive paywalled content they cannot find anywhere else.

What is Patreon

This membership platform also allows online creators to offer rewards as well as other perks to their subscribers. Depending on the plan, these content creators can get full access to helpful business tools that can help build their following. The payment from the audience can be in the form of a monthly subscription or per completed work.

Content That is Not Allowed

Gumroad

While Gumroad is an incredible platform for selling your digital products and services, the site does have a list of things that creators cannot post. Adult content such as nudity is allowed onto the platform but cannot be outright porn. Gumroad defines "porn" as photos or videos depicting one (or more) real human adults engaging in sexual activities. Sexual activities include genital stimulation, oral sex, or insertion.

It is also important to note that if you decide to post adult content, it will take longer for Gumroad to review your account, so you will need to make 6-10 sales to multiple customers before getting paid. In addition, all content that can be perceived as sexual must be marked as NSFW or "not safe for work."

Gumroad also has a list of things you cannot sell on their site as it can cause legal troubles. This includes reselling products you did not create yourself, selling food, and selling products that violate federal laws such as drugs, to name a few.

Below is a quick overview of what can and cannot be sold on Gumroad.

Allowed

Not Allowed

Nudity that is appropriately marked

Outright pornography (genital stimulation, oral sex, or insertion of any kind.)

NSFW Animations and illustrations

Any activity or content that promotes discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, or age.

NSFW audiobooks and products

Content that reveals private information about someone without their authorization or consent.

Selling physical goods that you have created yourself.

Reselling software that you have purchased such as Windows 10 license keys

 

Selling web hosting or servers

 

Reselling e-books, furniture that you did not create, goods you did not create, jewelry you did not make, used goods, or electronics that you did not create or own the rights to

 

Selling products or services that violate federal laws of the US such as drugs. 

 

Selling food, medical, and beauty products

 

Selling credit repair e-books or credit repair services

 

Selling gift cards

Patreon

Like any other platform, Patreon has a list of content that isn't allowed. For example, creators can post nudity on the site as long as the content is marked as 18+ material and posted to a patron-only area. Full-on pornography, fringe sexual creations like incest, and glorifying violence are prohibited from being posted on Patreon.

Doxxing and all other damaging and illegal activities are prohibited on the site. Some people, specifically politicians, organizations, and those who have a known dangerous past, cannot even have an account.

Below is a quick overview of what is and what is not allowed on Patreon:

Allowed

Not Allowed

Nudity (when the creator flags themselves as 18+)

Pornographic material or sexual services which Patreon defines as “real people engaging in sexual acts such as masturbation or sexual intercourse on camera”

 

The glorification of sexual violence which includes bestiality, rape, and child exploitation

 

Doxxing other people’s personal information

 

Bullying or harassment

 

Hate speech (calling for violence, exclusion, or segregation, including serious attacks on people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, or serious medical conditions.

 

Harmful and illegal activity

 

Creations that infringe on other people’s intellectual property rights

 

Politicians running for office and people or organizations with a dangerous or criminal past.

Integrations and Tools for Creators

Gumroad

Several convenient apps can integrate with this online marketplace to help your business run more smoothly and efficiently. For instance, Gumroad can be integrated with Youtube annotations so that you can link your Gumroad gallery to the Youtube videos you upload. So, if you're on video talking about a few of the digital products and services you offer, link your gallery or product on Gumroad so customers can find you.

Another helpful app that you can integrate with Gumroad is Convertkit. This application is for designing intuitive email courses and tutorials, creating simple and effective opt-in forms, and automating all of your marketing efforts so that you have more time to create!

Here are a few other apps that can integrate with Gumroad for a better experience selling online:

  • Zapier

  • Printful

  • Booklaunch

  • WordPress

  • Infusionsoft

  • IFTTT

  • Sketchfab

  • Drip

Patreon

The tools you have access to while using Patreon will depend on the plan you choose when you set up your Patreon account. For instance, those with the Lite plan can message their patrons and attend the Patreon workshops but cannot access their analytics or use the merch for the membership programs.

If you use the Patreon Pro plan, you can access the workshops and your analytics, but you cannot use the merch for the membership program.

Lastly, the premium plan gives you access to everything offered, including the merch for memberships, a helpful community-building program that allows you to award your loyal patrons and give out monthly merch to them, like stickers or seasonal merch.

Patreon can also be integrated with Discord so that you can have a server for your subscribers to chat and hold discussions using both text and voice chat. This Discord integration is only available for Pro and Premium members, not Lite.

Here are a few of the other apps that can be integrated with Patreon that make all the difference:

  • Vimeo

  • Streamlabs

  • Zapier

  • Wix

  • WordPress

  • Clipdad

  • Fivver

  • Mailchimp

Pricing Plans and Transfer Fees

Gumroad

Gumroad is unique in its pricing plans as they encourage you to build your community with the site. The more income you receive, the less of a percentage Gumroad takes from your earnings. There are no monthly Gumroad fees, and it is free to start. Users have access to all the features that Gumroad offers. Those who sell more pay less per month.

Gumroad Pricing

For instance, if you are a writer who wants to get started for free instead of paying membership fees, Gumroad can be a great Patreon alternative for writers.

These milestones are as follows:

Earning Milestone

% of Earnings Paid to Gumroad

$0

9%

$1,000

7%

$10,000

5%

$100,000

3%

$1,000,000

2.9%

Patreon

When using Patreon, you are paying for both a portion of your monthly income plus a processing fee for every payment that you receive from your audience. Below are the two payment processing schemes that Patreon uses:

  • Standard rate is for all payments that are more than $3. This equates to 2.9% + the flat rate of $0.30. 

  • The micropayment rate is for all payments that are less than $3. This is 5% + a flat rate of $0.10.

Patreon Pricing

When using Patreon, you are paying for both a portion of your monthly income plus a processing fee for every payment that you receive from your audience. Below are the two payment processing schemes that Patreon uses:

  • The standard rate is for all payments that are more than $3. This equates to 2.9% + the flat rate of $0.30. 

  • The micropayment rate is for all payments that are less than $3. This is 5% + a flat rate of $0.10.

Patreon charges service fees in addition to their payment processing fees. The service fee amount you are charged will depend on the plan you are using for your account. Here is a quick overview of all Patreon's plans:

  • Lite: Patreon takes 5% of your monthly income. You are granted access to all of the site's basic features like setting up your page, creating content, and communicating with your patrons.

  • Pro: Patreon takes 8% of your monthly income. You will be able to set up different membership tiers, offer special offers, and get unlimited app integrations.

  • Premium: takes 12% of your monthly income. You will have a dedicated partner manager, access to the merch for the memberships program, and you can even set up Team Accounts. This plan is not for everyone though, as it is meant for content creators who already have at least 100,000 subscribers on Youtube or another social media platform.

Gumroad and Patreon are two fairly similar platforms but there are key features that set them apart from each other. While Patreon is designed primarily as a monthly subscription platform where creators upload their content for a monthly fee, Gumroad allows customers to place direct orders for your products or services like e-books, courses, etc. 

With Patreon, your audience is paying for access to your content and with Gumroad, your customers are actively ordering your digital products and services from your gallery. If you are someone who posts regular content online for an audience, Patreon is the best choice but if you are someone who sells digital products or services separately to each customer, Gumroad is the one for you.

If you want to get started selling your content for free with no membership fees, then use Gumroad as a free Patreon alternative instead.

Who’s Gumroad Better Suited for?

While Patreon is designed primarily as a monthly subscription platform where creators upload their content for a monthly fee, Gumroad allows customers to place direct orders for your products or services like e-books, courses, etc. If you are a creator who sells digital products or services separately to each customer, Gumroad is the one for you.

Who's Gumroad better suited to

This is Alexander J.A Cortes’s page, he has made over $100,000 selling his fitness guides and programs on Gumroad. He also offers a membership plan called the “AJAC TRIBE” and currently has about 200 members.

Who’s Patreon Better Suited for?

With Patreon, your audience is paying for access to your content. If you are someone who posts consistently and looking to paywall your content, Patreon is the best choice.

This is N.K. Jesmine, she is a fiction writer who uses Patreon to release chapters of her novels and receive a consistent monthly income. She offers three different membership plans with price options including $1, $2 and $5 and have over 1,000 patrons. Patreon has allowed her to quit her day job and pursue a full time writing career thanks to the direct funding from her readers.

Who's Patreon Better suited to

Gumroad and Patreon are two fairly similar platforms but there are key features that set them apart from each other. While Patreon is designed primarily as a monthly subscription platform where creators upload their content for a monthly fee, Gumroad allows customers to place direct orders for your products or services like e-books, courses, etc.

With Patreon, your audience is paying for access to your content and with Gumroad, your customers are actively ordering your digital products and services from your gallery. If you are someone who posts regular content online for an audience, Patreon is the best choice but if you are someone who sells digital products or services separately to each customer, Gumroad is the one for you.

If you want to get started selling your content for free with no membership fees, then use Gumroad as a free Patreon alternative instead.

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