Patreon has launched a native video hosting service and is giving Pro and Premium creators early access to the feature, so they no longer have to use YouTube to share video content with their fans. The company first revealed that it was working on a video hosting platform and player of its own last year. Now, Patreon has started rolling it out to more users after a period of beta testing. Company CPO Julian Gutman told TechCrunch that Patreon has seen creators "use it quite successfully to grow their memberships" during the beta and that it's "really excited to scale it out."
Creators typically have to use YouTube, Vimeo and similar websites if videos are part of what they offer to fans. They can also attach files for download on their Patreon posts, but that doesn't offer a seamless experience, and those files are limited to 200MB in size. Creators who get early access to the feature will be able to upload HD videos directly to Patreon and will be able to easily create previews to tease their content to potential subscribers. They can control how long the previews are, simply by highlighting frames in the backend during upload. And since fans will be paying for full access to those videos, they won't encounter any ads while watching.
TechCrunch says Patreon Video will be available on desktop, iOS and Android. It will support AirPlay for Apple devices at launch, while Patreon's Android app will get Chromecast support "soon." The feature is free to use at the moment, and creators on Pro and Premium plans will be able to upload 500 hours of videos until the end of 2023 at no extra cost. Patreon will eventually charge them to use the feature, though: It plans to introduce pricing, which takes into account the cost of hosting and streaming video natively, after 2023. Creators will have six months to use up their 500 hours once pricing is in place. Any video they upload during early access will remain accessible on the website, and they won't have to pay anything to keep them there.