The normal mechanisms of the market to achieve equilibrium don't apply; indeed, I don't think there's such a thing as equilibrium when it comes to Patreon.
So here's an analysis of labour when it comes to Patreon, using as case studies two accounts: the funny, brilliant podcast Chapo Trap House and the pseudointellectual right-wing YouTuber Sargon of Akkad.
As of time of writing, Chapo Trap House is making $65,601.00 per month (meaning $787,212.00 per year), which amounts to approximately $15,098.00 per week (the average number of weeks in a month is approx. 4.345, so $65,601.00 ÷ 4.345 = approx. $15,098.00).
The average length of each episode, which I assume is equivalent to the time it takes to record, is 1 hour. I'm only guessing, but I assume the time spent in preparation and pre-production and the time spent in editing and other forms of post-production are 2 hours and 1 hour respectively. 2 episodes are released per week.
Adding up the hours spent in the creation of each episode (4 hours) and multiplying that number by that of episodes released per week, we get 8 hours of labour per week. Dividing the Dry Boys' weekly income by this number yields an hourly wage of $1,887.25.
From this, we may extract a general formula for determining the hourly wages of an audio or video content producer on Patreon:
Let Im = monthly income,
Iw = weekly income,
L = the length in hours of the audio or video product,
P = the hours spent in preparation and pre-production + the hours spent in editing and other forms of post-production,
Q = the number of products released per week,
W = the hours spent in labour per week, and
Ih = the hourly wage of the producer.
To derive W, we must apply the following formula: Q(L + P) = W.
To derive Ih, the following formula works: Iw/W = Ih.
Thus, in expanded form, the formula for the hourly wage of a given audio or video content producer on Patreon is: Im/4.345 = Iw/Q(L + P) = W = Ih.
Now let's apply this to
So let's apply the formula:
$5,637.00/4.345 = $1,297.00 (approx.)/3(0.5 + 2.5) = 9 = $144.11.
Given that Sargon puts more time into production than the Dry Boys, this may cast some doubt on the labour theory of value. But two factors must be taken into consideration before any conclusions may be drawn:
- These are estimates, drawn from my own experience podcasting and making videos. As well, the labour involved in the creation of the equipment must be taken into account. Not only that, but the quality and effort put into the creation of Chapo Trap House may be more than that put into Sargon's videos.
- Patreon is different from your average market in multiple ways. I can't explain the differences in detail, but they're obvious.
In conclusion, donate to my Patreon.