Difference Between Substack and Patreon (With Table)

We are in the world of Content Monetization, where different platforms like Substack and Patreon help consumers to consume the content put up on their platforms. Writers who write content on these platforms can either get paid themselves, or the apps which are showcasing their contents will market and pay you. There are certain ways through which you can monetize your content, like sell your contents directly to the users or sell it to the audience with the help of 3rd party apps. Once you have done that, you will have a fan base.

Substack vs Patreon

The difference between Substack and Patreon is that Substack is a platform that helps to publish an independent newsletter for their creators/writers. Patreon is a platform which provides business tools for content creators, and they run with the help of subscription. The pricing structure of Substack and Patreon is different. For instance, Substack charges flat 10% on the revenue earned. While Patreon has a tiered structure. It charges differently according to different plans.

Substack was started in the year 2017 for writers and creators. It was basically meant for writers. It focuses on publishing and writing the content. It was started as a goal to cater to small audiences, but soon it attracted big companies like CNN, Vox etc. It charges 10% on the revenue earned by the creators besides processing fees. Although charges are high, it has many features like its interface is very simple, it is user friendly etc.

Patreon was started in the year 2013 by Jack Conte. Within starting of few months, it managed to take investments from Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors. It is meant for content creators like Youtube, painter, musicians etc. It is a membership platform which means you have to go through the process of registration. Also provides Hosted Created pages, ad-free contents etc. It allows creators to fix an amount for their work of art, and in turn, the company provides them with perks and rewards.

Comparison Table Between Substack and Patreon

Parameters of ComparisonSubstackPatreon
Pricing StructureIt has 10% pricing.It varies from 5-12%.
Active UsersIt has 1-2lakh users.It has 3 million users(monthly).
Hosted Creator PageIt has a very basic design and a simple setting.It has a page where users and fans get benefits.
FeatureIt focuses on discussions with subscribers.It focuses on the comments section.
TypeIt is a subscription platform.It is a membership platform.

What is Substack?

Substack was launched in 2017 to publish the contents of the creators/writers independently. It also gives an option to start a paid subscription. Substack is a subscription platform that is exclusively meant for writers or content writers. It provides many features to its users like managing mailing lists, creating blog posts, starting discussion threads, receiving payments etc.

All the Substack offerings offer are meant predominantly for newsletter publishers who wished to publish their content either for free or paid subscription. It gives both writers as well as users to choose between free and paid newsletters. It was co-founded by Chris Best, Hamish McKenzie, and Jairaj Sethi. Substack Platform was meant for enthusiastic writers who cater to small audiences. Besides that, it has attracted some famous media houses, journalists and has also become a house for corporate newsletters put out by big companies like CNN, Vox and BuzzFeed.

Recently substack has opened a podcasts facility for audio content creators. Its main target is still to focus on people who publish and write newsletters. It has a very simple basic design that focuses on writing quality content. Editors have different tools to create a good and logical post, and they can also attach images, links, videos and other features. It has a very straightforward agenda that either newsletter can be published on the web or to send them to users email and publish it.

What is Patreon?

Patreon is a membership platform that is an American company that provides a platform to content creators. It runs a subscription service. To enter the platform, you have to be registered on Patreon. Patreon is meant for artists, writers and creators. It also helps them to earn income on a monthly basis by giving perks and rewards. It also charges 5 to 12% fees besides the nominal fees. It is used by YouTube videographers, musicians, webcomic artists, writers, podcasters, adult content creators etc.

The company was started in the year 2013 by Jack Conte and Sam Yam. Followers of Patreon are known as patrons. This platform was made as a motive to allow ‘patrons; to set a fixed amount for their art which is created by the artists. When it was started, it raised $2.1 million from angel investors and venture capitalists. In the first 1 and a half year, they signed almost more than 125,000 patrons. In the year 2015, it acquired Subbable, which was a similar subscription service created by the Green brothers.

Till the year 2017, Patreon has 50,000 creators and 1 million patrons, and it also included a suite of tools like a CRM system, a service that could set up Livestream and a mobile app known as Lens. In 2018, it acquired a company known as Memberful, a membership service company. Patreon users are grouped according to the content type, such as video/films, podcast, comics, games, comedy, and education. Creators are provided with membership benefits like they can see how much revenue is generated, set a maximum limit, and patrons can cancel their payment, any time.

Main Differences Between Substack and Patreon

  1. Substack has 10% flat pricing rates. Patreon varies from 5-12%. And has a tiered structure like Lite, Pro and Premium.
  2. Substack has 1-2 active lakh users and was started in 2017. Patreon has 3 million active users (monthly) and started in 2013.
  3. Substack has a very basic design and a simple setting. Patreon has a page where users and fans get benefits like early access to new work, ad-free content, exclusive uploads and the ability to give suggestions.
  4. Substack focuses on discussions with subscribers, and there is engagement between publishers and readers. Patreon focuses on the comments section after each post is put up.
  5. Substack is a subscription platform and is very user-friendly. Patreon is a membership platform and has a feed, but it is not so user-friendly.


Both Substack and Patreon are content monetization platforms that monetise their creators by providing them benefits. Both are in a way similar but slightly different, like Substack is for writers only whereas Patreon is for YouTubers, artists, writers etc. It depends on the creators who are best for them. If you are focused on writing and sharing newsletters and earn revenue, then substack is the best choice. If you plan to share and create content not just for writing, then Patreon is the best choice. Substack communicates with its users through discussions thread. Patrons interact with their users via feed very similar to Facebook and Instagram.


  1. https://minuteearth.fione.info/l4GnsY6KgaqjlYo/the-great-acceleration.html
  2. https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/onulr46&section=10
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