IGNORING TRENDS Axanar surrogate Jonathan Lane bucks up supporters by pointing to the growing total monthly Patreon donations (blue line), while ignoring the fact the rate of growth has slowed dramatically (gold bars). Data/Graphtreon | Graphic/AxaMonitor


Patreon Progress Slows Precipitously

Axanar Surrogate Seeks to Comfort Disappointed Fans With One-Sided View of Patreon Success

Despite unsubstantiated claims that Axanar producer Alec Peters’ effort on Patreon to get Axanar supporters to pay the monthly $4,000 rent and utilities on his Georgia warehouse was gaining steam, AxaMonitor‘s analysis of public Patreon data found quite the contrary.

The Patreon campaign launched with great fanfare on January 18, 2019, with an announcement on the premiere of Peters’ YouTube live chat, Reel Trek. The first few days indeed saw rapid growth.

Fan Film Factor’s Jonathan Lane

The Bright Side

In reporting the Patreon progress, Lane chose to highlight the overall totals in both pledges and patrons, both of which continued to climb. By January 27, monthly pledges had reached $1,026 from 112 patrons.

What Lane chose to ignore, however, was a disturbing trend — growth was heading in the wrong direction.

« Now we are to pay more money ‘for the studio’ if we want to get something for what we already paid for. I have supported this from almost the very beginning. … I’m going to be honest; I’m really starting to lose faith in all of this. 😢 » — Kent Hawkins, Fan Film Forum group on Facebook

The Reality

Despite Lane’s assertion that “things aren’t slowing down yet,” analysis of daily Patreon data demonstrated the contrary (see graph above): After a strong three-day opening with daily pledges growing by as much as $346 a day, that rate of growth evaporated by the fourth day, tumbling to a mere $27.1)

Even with a bump on January 23 to $134, the new amount pledged each day has stayed in the single and double digits.2)

Patron Growth Falls

Analysis showed the same pattern in the daily growth of new patrons, with a high of 38 in the opening days falling precipitously to single digits a week later.

DWINDLING DONORS AxaMonitor’s analysis of Ares Studios patron growth data (gold line) shows the number of new Ares Studios donors each day has shrunk into the single digits (green bars). Data/Graphtreon | Graphic/AxaMonitor

Supporters' Dismay

Even so, some Axanar supporters expressed dismay at yet another crowdfunding campaign by Peters. One fan, Kent Hawkins, wrote on Facebook:

FALLING AVERAGE While the Ares Studio Patreon continues to add patrons each day (in the single digits), the average each one is pledging is getting smaller. Click image to view full size.
So now we raised all this money for a movie. It gets spent on the lawsuit now we are to pay more money “for the studio” if we want to get something for what we already paid for. I have supported this from almost the very beginning. I have spent time, money, and energy pushing the project, defending the project, and supporting the project anyway I could. I’m going to be honest; I’m really starting to lose faith in all of this. 😢 3)

'Not Slowing Down'

In at attempt to buck up Hawkins’ flagging support of the beleaguered project, Axanar surrogate Jonathan Lane reassured him:

Just remember that you’re not the only one hanging in there. … The Patreon is up to nearly a hundred backers so far, and it’s been less than a week. Tens of thousands of people are watching each Axanar production update on YouTube, producing hundreds of dollars in additional revenue. Last night, more than $400 was raised through superchats with a livecast that Alec did.4)

DOWNLOAD and review the Patreon data for Ares Studios, provided by Graphtreon (Ares Studios Patreon.xlsx 16KB Excel spreadsheet).

Failed Detractors

Lane criticized what he called efforts by “the detractors … to inform the public so they stop giving money to Alec Peters.”5)

He called those efforts a complete failure, saying, “they are continuing to fail a little more each day … as between last night and tonight, an additional $1,332 has been pledged [on Patreon] for the year along with an additional $410 from direct donations [on YouTube].”6)

Counting Chickens Before They're Hatched

Lane converted the monthly pledges recorded on Patreon into annual totals to cast the best possible light on the campaign:

We’re still taking about $1,500 in 24 hours plus nearly $10K net in the past six days. In other words, things aren’t slowing down yet, despite the ceaseless efforts over the past three years by six dozen or so detractors. And man, are they getting pissed about it!7)

Patreon itself, however, does not measure pledges in this manner because the number of patrons and pledges can vary by month; dissatisfied patrons can cancel their pledges at any time. On the date Lane cited, the total monthly pledges were at $877 from 95 patrons.

DRIVING DONATIONS? Axanar supporters speculate on Facebook that all the new YouTube content from Alec Peters’ multiple live chats must be spurring Patreon donations. The data shows otherwise, however.

Relying on YouTube

Meanwhile, Peters made plain that he’s counting on money raised by monetizing Axanar’s YouTube channel to make up the difference in funding the studio Patreon.

Discuss this article in AxaMonitor's Facebook group.


Kent Hawkins post, Fan Film Forum post on Facebook, 1/23/19.
4) , 5) , 6) , 7)
Jonathan Lane comment, Fan Film Forum post on Facebook, 1/23/19.
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