Patreon vs YouTube Channel Memberships

Patreon vs YouTube Channel Memberships

Some of you may have seen that YouTube has enabled the “
Channel Membership”­­­ feature on the Kombi Life YouTube Channel. You’ll now see a “Join” button next to the subscribe button on our channel.  

In short YouTube Channel Memberships are effectively the same as Patreon
, a way for viewers to help support a creator’s work in exchange for awesome perks like Bonus Content, Behind The Scenes, Early Viewing, Unlisted Video Access, Live Hangouts etc etc.
In this post we’ve listed the major differences below plus the answers to some questions that might pop up.
Having “Channel Memberships” enabled is great news for us (and creators in general) as it has the potential to help us make higher quality content and ensure that we can run our channel sustainably. 
Join us for the adventure!

The first and more important thing to say is that supporting any creator through either Patreon or YouTube Channel Memberships is in many cases necessary for channel sustainability; the support is very much appreciated and entirely optional!


Speaking on behalf of all creators, and as a creator myself, I can vouch for how challenging it is to put your work on the Internet for free. Gambling a constantly changing algorithm in the hope to be able to generate enough income to your pay your bills and live sustainable.
We are all viewers of content and so if you can, consider supporting the creators you enjoy the most.


The Differences at a Glance


    • Pledge from $1+ per month (you decide)
      • Pledges can be per piece of content (you choose to support 1+ uploads per month)
    • Patreon take 5 – 12% cut of pledges (5% for Kombi Life)
  • Content Delivery: Posted to Patreon Private Feed with notifications delivered to you via email or the Patreon App
    • Much better interface and feature rich posts (posts can contain vids and pics and can be cross-linked to other relevant posts and downloads) 
  • You can pledge less (or more) than on YouTube 
  • Requires you to create a Patreon account

YouTube Channel Membership

    • Pledge from $1.99 USD per month
    • YouTube take 30% cut!
  • Content Delivery: Posted on the Channel Community Feed (visible only to Members) and marked as “Members Only Posts”
    • Native to YouTube, you don’t need to open an account with Patreon
  • *we’re scratching our heads, trying to think of more…
    • Horrible interface, member posts can get lost amongst in the YT feed.
    • We can’t guarantee that you will see our posts. 
  • Did we mention that they take 30% cut?!?!?!!!!
Kombi Life Supporters
On set Recording an Episode of Kombi Life’s ‘Adventure Experts‘ video-podcast

Which platform is better for you, the supporter?

We think we can serve you better on Patreon, but you may not like having to access Patreon. If that is the case you may wish to become a channel member on YouTube 

Which platform is better for the Creator?

That’s easy, Patreon! Excluding the fact that more of your money goes towards our production and less to the middleman, Patreon just allows us to serve you better content with multimedia posts and cross-linked resources that we just can’t do in a YouTube post. We’re hoping (and expecting) that YouTube will improve the channel membership service in the future, it is relatively new. Currently you have to scroll through our Community feed to see the posts, it’s not ideal.

Why do you have the Channel Memberships on YouTube if you already have Patreon?

The golden question! Honestly we are very happy with Patreon; however:
1) YouTube may stop external links to Patreon at some point in the future which means it may become more difficult for us to recruit new members of the Kombi Crew on Patreon, we don’t think that this will happen, however Patreon is now a competitor to YouTube, so it might!
2) Our Partner Manager at YouTube has recommended to us that we start Channel Memberships now. In our experience, with new features, kombi crewit is important to establish yourself early as it can be hard to gain momentum if you are “late to the party”
3) It’s not really up to us, where you would like to support us and get access to all the extra bonus perks, we’d like to give you guys the freedom to choose.
4) It’s absolutely vital for us to diversify our revenue streams. As we are 100% responsible for finding funding for our series as well as actually creating the production, it is important for us to not rely too heavily on one source of revenue. If Patreon went bust (unlikely) or if there was an issue with us getting banned from the platform, we would be out of business in no time at all!

Do both platforms have the same perks for the Kombi Crew?

Essentially, Yes! We’ll never post content on one platform that doesn’t get posted on the other. The exception being some of the higher value perks which we offer for those of you on Patreon at the higher tiers. Like the Kombi Life Video Topics Planning Discussion (goes live on Dec 30th) that we posted for those of you at the “Executive Producer Tier”.   We are also hoping to provide further merch benefits to Kombi Crew members next year which integrates better to the Patreon platform than YouTube. If you ever see a members only video on youtube, we will always link to the same piece of content on Patreon But ultimately we’ll try to be fair and equal to everyone, we love you guys and we’re totally looking out for you! 
Kombi Life Behind The Scenes
Lights, Camera, Action – Behind The Scenes of the Kombi Life Production
When we first started the Kombi Crew on Patreon (back in 2015) we were on the brink of canceling the “Hasta Alaska” Series. Since then, and because of your support, we’ve gone on to create 2 full seasons and we are now able to begin a brand new series, documenting an Overland Travel Series around the world! We’re so pumped!  

Did you know that in 2018 there were 3 whole months that we didn’t upload a “Paid Posts on Patreon, even though you guys had our backs to support our content. During those months we did upload videos, and bonus content, but we never clicked “Accept Patron Pledges”. In fact, unlike most creators on Patreon, we uploaded far more free posts than paid posts in 2018. We know that you guys have our backs regardless, (because you’re awesome) but we want you to know this so that you can see that we are 100% about making the best content that we can and not about making money. Even if that means we spend months on the filming and are unable to edit and upload during that time.

Our goal is, as it always has been to generate the best content that we can, not to get rich.  That said, we do want out content to be sustainable so that we can continue to create top quality content.

This year has been testing for us with both demonetization and adpocalypse affecting Kombi Life significantly. That coupled with having 4 months of our AdSense revenue stolen, and you can imagine that our channel would have gone bust in 2018 if it hadn’t been for you guys enabling us to create our series.

Having you guys supporting us in the Kombi Crew blows us away and we thank you at start of every day of work. For this reason we’ll always prioritize creating content FOR YOU, and not for brands, or the ever-changing algorithm.

Thank you for everything that you do for us, it really does mean the world to us.

Ben, Leah, Alaska

Kombi Life YouTube GIF
Watch our Viewer Supported Adventure Series


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