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Do you want to develop an app like Patreon? That sounds like a wise decision! In 2022, this platform became the primary source of income for Patreon creators worldwide. In 2023, it can boast more than 8 million monthly active patrons, and its app has a 4.9 AppStore rating, reaching №36 in the Entertainment category.
Furthermore, in 2022 Patreon made it to the top 10 leading companies supporting the creator economy worldwide, taking seventh place with $160 million in revenue. So it isn’t surprising that many want to create an app that could be as successful and potentially might become a worthy competitor for Patreon.
How to build a subscription app like Patreon that will become successful on the market? To do that, you must understand how such apps work, their features, and what it takes to create one. Softermii has the knowledge and experience to share with you. We work with real estate, healthcare, fintech, and eCommerce niches, and do our best to deliver outstanding solutions for our clients. Read further to learn all the details of subscription-based app creation.
How Does an App like Patreon Work?
Patreon is a subscription-based community app for content creators and their subscribers. Artists, writers, videomakers, podcasters, and other creative professionals register on the platform and create various payment tiers that their supporters can purchase.
As a result, creators receive funding for their work. In turn, their followers get exclusive access to various content, including drafts, concepts, early releases, etc. Artists can pick the most convenient billing scheme for them and get paid either monthly or per project.
Patreon receives its revenue from subscriptions. After registration, content creators start using the app for free until they start earning. After that, they have to give a certain percentage of their monthly income: 5% for the Lite membership plan, 8% for Pro, and 12% for Premium.
Each plan contains various useful features, such as workshops, analytics, team accounts, etc. A similar billing model is also used in other subscription apps and applied in Patreon-like app development.
Main Features for Your Subscription App
Building an app like Patreon starts with understanding its main features and picking the ones that you’d like to replicate in your project. The more you select, the easier it will be to compete with Patreon. However, the number of features affects the total subscription app development cost, so choose wisely.
Content creators that use Patreon’s Pro and Premium plans can design their personal subscription tiers with pricing starting at $1. That grants the subscribers more flexibility in payments and allows them to support their favorite artists even when on a tight budget. Consider implementing this feature in your app. If an app will be released globally, it’s also important to provide multi-currency support and diverse payment options.
As for getting paid, Patreon offers artists two options. They can set up an automatic deposit and receive funds monthly or request payments several times during the month. Making flexible payments one of your subscription app features can help you attract more creators and start building up an audience more quickly.
Add Profile Details
This will allow the artists to describe their expertise and promote themselves to new subscribers. They can also use profile descriptions to specify their reward expectations, niche, and potential audience size. They can also add links to their portfolio websites and social media, allowing users to check out their previous works before deciding to subscribe or follow them for more personal and lifestyle content.
A strong community benefits any app, especially a subscription-based one. Subscribers should be able to follow their favorite creators, while creators should be able to communicate with them, answer their questions, and react to their replies. This can be done in the app (via posts on the artist’s page or direct messages) or via emails. However, you can develop other tools when building a subscription app: for instance, create fan groups or allow group chats.
Enabling creators to reach out to their audience allows them to notify their subscribers about new content, reply in comments, complete their requests, and build a stronger subscriber base. The artist’s audience, on the other hand, feels more appreciated and engaged in dialogue with the creator and finds more motivation to continue using the app.
Track Billing History
Many Patreon users support more than one artist. When there are too many subscriptions, it becomes easy to lose track of them. That’s why you should consider making it easier for the users when you create a subscription-based app.
The ability to track the history of payments will allow users to evaluate their subscription list and manage it if necessary: for instance, stop supporting a creator that hasn’t been publishing new content in the last few months.
Additional Features for Developing an App like Patreon
To successfully develop a subscription-based app like Patreon, you have to offer something more besides the core features. Here are some useful suggestions that could benefit the users of such apps.
Although subscribers use Patreon mostly for entertainment, creators consider it a business. And just like any business, a subscription-based app requires metrics to track performance. Adding tracking options to your project will allow creators to measure the effectiveness of their work: check out content views, number of followers, subscription statistics, analyze monthly reports, etc.
Goals and progress bar
Artists can add goals and progress bars to their pages, especially while working on a long project. It will help build anticipation among the audience and could also encourage the creators more with the ongoing support of their subscribers. This feature would be very useful for all of those who create and appreciate long-form content.
This feature can be helpful to creators who work with various visual or audio content forms. Running live video streams is a great way to interact with your audience and build their loyalty. Furthermore, integrating the pay-per-view feature into your app will also become a financially rewarding experience for the artists.
UI/UX Best Practices in Developing Subscription-based App
Developing a subscription app requires its own UI/UX design approach. Your goal is to encourage both the content creators and their audience to stay with you for a long time. To achieve that, you have to make such an app functional and user-friendly.
Content first, design second
Content created for Patreon is very diverse and distributed primarily via Patreon. This is one of the main reasons why both the mobile app’s and the website’s design is very minimalist and simple. Otherwise, it could distract the subscribers from the displayed content.
At the same time, it’s essential to make the design of the transaction system very straightforward and clear, like Softermii did while building the Swipe League. As transactions are a vital part of the app, you have to prevent possible bad experiences with them.
Automated payments and easy cancellation
People that follow a lot of creators might not want to subscribe and pay each time they want to support an artist. Making their payments automated can simplify their lives greatly and help you save the audience.
It’s also necessary to design an easy cancellation experience when you create a subscription app. Creators can come and go and subscribers should be able to stop supporting them without any complications and struggles.
Quick and solid user support
Patreon-like apps address content makers and subscribers. This means you have not one, but two target audiences and provide high-quality support for both.
How to achieve that? With the help of a detailed knowledge base, tutorials, and FAQs that are easily accessible. In many cases, this could solve the user’s problems before they contact the support team. However, if they do, it’s great if you have qualified 24/7 support to help them.
Recommended Tech Stack for a Subscription App Development
Technology stack differs from app to app but is nonetheless critical to ensure the success of your project. Patreon-like app developers work with the following technologies:
- Front-end: React JS
- Back-end: NodeJS
- Android: Kotlin
- iOS: Swift
- DevOps: AWS
- Design: Sketch
How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Subscription App like Patreon?
The cost to develop an app like Patreon can vary depending on the features and functionalities that you choose to include. When you develop an app like Patreon, engineers need to first consider the cost of technology, design and development time.
Note, that Patreon-like app development can vary greatly depending on the features, functionalities, and technology used. Here is a general estimate of the cost and time involved in building a typical subscription app:
Web and Mobile Development
The basic stage of a Patreon-like app development.
This is where the process of tech implementation happens: from the administrative panel and up to features and technologies you want to have in your application, like chatbot or push notifications.
The key thing is that the more complicated features you want to implement, the higher the development costs will be.
Additionally, you need to consider the platform for your app, iOS or Android. If you want to cover the needs of all clients, it’s better to create cross-platform apps that will be compatible with the major OS.
Web and mobile development price: can take up to 900 hours, costing approximately $27,000.
A unique UI/UX design will create responsive user interfaces and positive experiences by studying your target audience. Furthermore, an adaptive Patreon-like app design will run smoothly on any device, especially if it is a cross-platform app.
UX/UI design price: up to 200 hours, costing $6,000.
Testing and Quality Assurance
It is crucial to test your product before releasing it to the public. At Softermii, manual and automated testing will ensure that performance is unimpaired and that all bugs are eliminated.
Furthermore, this will provide insights into the application’s usage, improving features and interfaces.
QA price: up to 200 hours, costing $6,000.
A project manager will ensure that milestones are met and that the project’s scope remains as you want it to be. They will also perform risk analyses to identify potential security weaknesses and communicate with you on the subscription application development process.
Project management typically costs 10% to 15% of the total budget. However, considering our current estimate, it will be approximately $5,500.
How much does it cost to create a subscription application like Patreon? Look at the table below:
Real Estate App Development Cost
Web and mobile development
Testing and quality assurance
A basic and simple solution can be priced from $25,000 to $45,000. However, more complex apps can cost upwards of $70,000.
The total cost of Patreon-like app development will vary depending on the project’s complexity.
The more complex app you want to create, the more talents and technologies you need. Yet, you may still get a price estimation of the custom subscription application before you start to work on it. Feel free to contact us, and we will provide you with an estimate of a Patreon-like application development and explain what is included in the development cost.
Subscription-based apps continue to grow and develop in the modern world. As more and more content creators register on platforms like Patreon to make a profit, their followers get a chance to support their favorite artists and unlock access to exclusive content. That’s why developing and launching a similar app can be a worthy investment.
To create a Patreon-like app, you need to identify its main features, come up with additional ones that can benefit your users, and evaluate the costs and the timeline. But what’s most important is that you have to choose a reliable subscription app development company to work with. Softermii has both the skills and knowledge for that. We work with various projects, from Netflix-like platforms to creating your own Patreon clone, and will gladly come to your aid.
Don’t hesitate to reach us if you have any questions or want to start building your app right away!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you offer maintenance and support services after the delivery of a Patreon-like app?
Yes, as long as you want to. We can either provide you with continuous support or be there to help you with any troubles and lags only for the first few months after the launch of your project. We can also support you occasionally — for instance, if you decide to implement a new tech-demanding feature.
How long does it take to create a subscription app?
This largely depends on the technologies you want to use and the number of features that you want to implement. On average, it could take between three to nine months to develop a subscription-based app.
Which development services do you offer?
We take care of every stage of Patreon-like app creation for you, starting with analytics, and ending with after-launch support. Front-end and back-end development, along with design, also come in a package.
What is the average cost of building a Patreon-like app?
The cost of developing an app like Patreon can vary between $25 000 and $50 000, assuming you want only a standard set of features. The more extra features an app has, the more costly it will be.
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