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The New Joe Rogan? How Tim Dillon is Making Millions On Patreon

The platform Patreon has created a new way for creators to utilize crowd funding to produce a variety of shows, podcasts, and original content. The platform has also provided refuge for certain creators who have been either demonetized on other mainstream sites like YouTube and Twitch or  have been banned from the platforms altogether. The site hosts some of the most popular podcasts including Chapo Trap House and the Tim Dillon Show.

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The site is user-friendly and offers creators a unique tiered approach to selling their content. Viewers can select the tier that suits their interests and needs which includes a monthly fee for subscribers. This ability to select the content that audiences want directly is circumnavigating other social streaming sites that focus on curation like Netflix, Hulu, and the recent Disney+. Patreon also shows the number of subscribers that a creator has, and in some cases, their monthly earnings. This keeps the public aware of just how successful some of their favorite creators are becoming.

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The ability for audiences to pay creators directly has not only resulted in viewers serving as temporary producers, but also in new, innovative content that might not have previously passed through the Standards and Practices of networks and alternative streaming services. With a statement released on supporting comedy and freedom of speech, Patreon has dedicated itself to providing an outlet for outsiders of the industry. One recent success story to emerge from Patreon is of comedian and podcast host Tim Dillon. By charting his success, story, and evolution as a creator, the benefits of Patreon quickly become recognizable. And with the platform announcing an IPO debut in 2021, investments and funding for some of the platforms top creators may be on the horizon.

In The Beginning

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Tim Dillon started comedy after a stint selling subprime mortgages. Having purchased a house at 22, he succumbed to the 2008 housing crisis and spent time at a local watering hole, Lisa’s Lounge, which inspired a variety of pilots and future content. He then started performing at Caroline’s Comedy Club and hosting a podcast on the Gas Digital Network.

Gas Digital was founded by podcast professionals Luis J. Gomez and Ralph Sutton in 2016. The platform focused on cutting-edge content and uncensored episodes that featured a variety of rebellious comedians like the Legion of Skanks, Stoned Science, and Dave Smith’s Part of the Problem.

Originally titled Tim Dillon is Going to Hell, the podcast featured rants from Dillon accompanied by his Austrian School of Economics informant Ray Kump. Together, the duo discussed some of the most intense conspiracies and darker elements of society. The show quickly found its voice by offering investigations through instigation. Some of the episodes revolved around the heartbreaking documentary Who Took Johnny to Amazon’s decision to establish a headquarters in Brooklyn. Both Dillon and Kump earned a reputation for their ability to explain high concept conspiracies in an articulate yet humorous way. Their success resulted in interviews with some top level government officials including former CIA-agent John Kiriakou and investigative journalist Russ Baker.

Leaving for Los Angeles

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Tim Dillon starting gaining further recognition in the comedy world after a successful showcase at the Montreal Comedy Festival where he showcased in the New Faces group. This led to Dillon appearing as a guest on popular podcasts and eventually a tour with rising comedian Bert Kreischer.

Dillon eventually decided to leave New York for Los Angeles, a decision that also allowed him to leave the Gas Digital Network and release his own comedic content through YouTube. Producer Ben Avery started recording the show and producing additional sketches with Dillon. The content continued to find an audience and shortly after, Dillon started appearing as a frequent guest on the most popular podcast The Joe Rogan Experience.

The Joe Rogan Experience

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Tim Dillon became a fan favorite on the Joe Rogan experience, especially after the mysterious death of financier, philanthropist, and child trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. Dillon would often appear as a guest on the program and discuss the incident and a variety of other conspiracies.

Tim Dillon was featured on one of the most viewed and most controversial episodes of the Joe Rogan experience. It featured an interview with Rogan, Dillon, and provocateur Alex Jones. The episode resulted in several bans from Spotify and a whirlwind of controversy from several media outlets. During the episode, it quickly became clear that Dillon was a moderate conduit between the more libertarian views of Rogan and the more conspiratorial ideas of Jones. Dillon centered himself between the two extremes and gained an even greater following from the over 18 million people who viewed the episode on YouTube.

The Million Dollar Man

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Dillon was able to carry viewers from his appearances on The Joe Rogan Experience over to his own podcast and platform. His YouTube channel boasts an impressive 300 thousand subscribers with over 33 million total views. Then in August of 2019, Dillon joined Patreon where he started releasing additional episodes and archives of Tim Dillon is Going to Hell. The Patreon quickly took off and by 2020, he was one of the top creators on the platform.

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No longer held back by the constraints of YouTube, Dillon was able to explore provocative comedy in the style of George Carlin and Lenny Bruce. He called out celebrities, high government officials, and other publicly adorned figures for their hypocrisy and disingenuous statements.

Dillon amassed over 23,700 patrons on the channel through two separate tiers: One for $5 a month and another for $20. This resulted in a monthly income on the platform of over $129,417, making Dillon over $1.5 million per year. This critical success landed Dillon on the list of the richest podcasters of 2021 list.

Patreon Punks

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The success of his show resulted in Dillon appearing on several podcasts featuring other top influencers and business barons including BFFs with Josh Richards and Dave Portnoy. He continued to capitalize on his method of information through instagation, inviting on several controversial guests like Candace Owens, Jordan Peterson, and Anna Khachiyan. Dillon’s apolitical stance on some of these controversial figures resulted in conversations with characters that humanized them in a culture that continues to shut them out. Patreon provided the perfect platform for these outsiders to explore their ideas, whether correct or not. It demonstrated how Patreon became home of some controversial creators such as Chapo Trap House and Red Scare, who were colloquially referred to by the New York Times as the “dirtbag left”. These podcasts no longer needed mainstream sites like YouTube to provide space for their content. Instead, in the vein of the DIY evolution of the punk scene, these creators were able to establish their own venues, creating a culture around themselves.

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Patreon now represents both mainstream creators and counterculture figures speaking out against oppressive systems and subjective media. They are funded by fans who support them despite the recent rise of cancel culture. But as Patreon continues to gain attention, they too have been forces to silence certain creators. The journalist Whitney Webb, who has appeared as a guest on Dillon’s show, was recently removed from the platform. Carl Benjamin was also taken down from Patreon due to language. As the company begins to go public, they appear to also be creating new standards for the platform. Will a public launch tarnish the punk-like image of the platform? Or will it provide additional funding and revenue for other alternative creators to join the ranks?

Regardless of the platform’s future, Patreon has over 6 million active users and 200 thousand creators. The platform has already solidified the career of several creators including Tim Dillon. With an annual income of over $1.5 million, Dillon’s right on track to becoming the next Joe Rogan.

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Sources: Patreon, Forbes, Newsweek, Graphtreon, Heavy, GasDigitalNetwork, Public, PlungedinDebt, TheVerge, TheTimes, NYTimes, BackLinko, YouTube, Comedy512, Spotify, Meaww, StyleRant, BarstoolSports

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