The Challenge: Making it easy to support great journalism
Alex came upon the idea for PressPatron during postgraduate research into media business models. His studies revealed more people were willing to support journalism with donations than pay for content locked behind paywalls.
A handful of sites were already experimenting with supporter contributions, but their payment systems were cumbersome and made it difficult for people to donate. Alex wanted to simplify this process, so readers could become paying supporters more easily, which is when he came to us*.
It can be pretty challenging starting a business as a solo founder. Having a development partner like Springload was absolutely pivotal to our success. It allowed us to raise investment and secure partners, because we could guarantee outcomes with timeframe and cost.
Our approach: Co-locating for collaborative development
As we spent more time together, it became apparent the project would benefit from Alex moving into our offices. This sped up the development process and provided him with the community often missing when you’re starting off as a solo founder.
Putting an end to clickbait
We’re currently working on new features that will enhance and simplify the functionality of PressPatron, for both publishers and supporters. But Alex’s grander vision is to eliminate clickbait.
PressPatron will be using their donation data to highlight stories that people actually care about. This will allow readers to easily discover high quality journalism, while also helping publishers boost their income.
Working with Springload alongside their community of people has been great. You can tell Bron cares about social enterprise and is really excited about PressPatron. It’s cool that Springload has a strong mission and that really shows. It’s powerful and means a lot.
The results: Proving that people care about quality journalism
Alex wants PressPatron to connect journalism that matters with a sustainable business model. As they expand across the US and beyond, PressPatron is in the perfect position to turn this vision into reality.
Since launching in February 2017, PressPatron has generated nearly $500,000 of revenue for their community of independent publishers. For their top publishers, between 1% and 4% of readers have already become paying supporters. Other interesting statistics:
of one-time donations are $50 or higher
of supporters commit to monthly contributions
average donation of one-time supporters
*The first stage of the PressPatron project was completed by Touchtech, a software development company that merged with Springload in March 2018.