The massively successful global webcomics portal LINE Webtoon and crowdfunding site Patreon are teaming up tp help fund more webcomics in several innovative ways, it was announced today. A Patreon button has has integrated directly into comics on the “Discover” portion of the LINE Webtoon site. The Discover section is an open portal where webcomickers can directly upload their comics and potentially reach LINE Webtoon’s 10 million unique daily readers and 35 million unique monthly readers.
But more than that, LINE Webtoon is poised to pledge up to $3,600,000 to cartoonists who use their Discover portal and tie in to Patreon via “patronage investment program.”
Unlike Kickstarter’s big cash influx model, Patreon works on a subscription basis with patrons supporting creators they like via monthly contributions. “Patreon is excited to partner with LINE Webtoon to help empower creators,” said Jack Conte, Founder of Patreon. “The partnership is a great fit; LINE Webtoon helps comic creators to get even more new fans for their comics and Patreon turns those fans into Patrons.”
“Patreon has optimized the revenue experience for creators like no other service has before and built up a huge base of self-supported creators and dedicated patrons,” said JunKoo Kim, Founder and Head of LINE Webtoon. “The Patreon platform is uniquely suited to how LINE Webtoon creators are accustomed to delivering their comics to fans. Creators already working with Patreon are in an environment where they provide their readers content on a regular schedule, making this an organic extension for our existing creators and new creators looking for a home.”
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE $3.6 million? LINE Webtoon will also directly pay up to $1000 a month to web comics that use Patreon and reach a certain threshhold of posting and popularity: the comics must make at least two posts a month via discover and have more than 3,000 subscribers and 5,000 monthly page views per chapter in the U.S. Participation is capped at 300 comics and will last a year. While you’ll need more than 20,000 subscribers and 50,000 pageviews to get $1000 a month, that’s entirely doable for popular webcomics.
There’a lot more details and a chart on the Discover page, but here’s more of how it works:
Webtoon’s Pledge Program:
Starting August 1st, 2016, Webtoon will directly pledge to qualifying creators up to $1,000 per month per creator for up to 300 creators every month until July 2017, per the qualification table below:
In order to qualify for Webtoon’s pledge, creators will need to:
a) Update at least twice a month
b) [Have 3k+ subscribers (All regions) AND have 10k+ US monthly pageviews / update*]
[Have 5k+ subscribers (All regions) AND have 5k+ US monthly pageviews / update]
* US monthly pageviews / update = Total number of pageviews of the whole series during a given month, divided by number of updates during the same given month
Webtoon is also adding established webcomics such as Tracy Butler’s Lackadaisy to join Discover “either featured creators or as Discover creators who will participate in LINE Webtoon’s patronage investment program.” Butler already makes over $5000 a month with Patreon, so she could do alright with this.
In case you haven’t guessed by now, LINE Webtoon is very well funded, and this is one of several innovations they’ve rolled out of late, including Binge Mode and Bookmarking. All the comcis on the platform are free to read AND creator owned — maybe this is the real competitor to Image Comics after all?
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.