Monetizing digital content distribution platforms is a complex and challenging process. As platform owners reap a large portion of revenue earned, content creators are exploring new ways to directly share content with their followers for a fee. Platforms such as Patreon provide content creators with a way to share content with patrons and earn revenue without an intermediary – a ‘direct-pay’ platform. In this study we examine a direct-pay platform to better understand how content creators can be financially successful without the traditional ad-based revenue model. The results of this study will provide insight, from an academic and practice perspective, into a revolutionary way for digital content to be created, distributed, and consumed.

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