Post I wrote four years ago:
Left commentator David Sirota is launching a new webcast ("Podcast" is an Apple-centric term that people still use, long after "pods" became "phones" -- appcast, maybe? no, please).
Unfortunately he's using Patreon to pay for it. That's a new-ish e-commerce platform that several indie content providers, such as James Howard Kunstler and Radio War Nerd, have embraced.
The Patreon model isn't based on subscription -- they call it "fundraising." That is, fundraising in perpetuity.
You can't make a one-time payment for x months of listening, in the manner of say, a magazine subscription. You "pledge" one of several tiers of support and Patreon bleeds this chosen increment out of your credit card or Paypal account each month. You don't have a credit card? Someone call law enforcement.
This puts the onus on you to cancel. If you die or become disabled the charges accrue to infinity. Also you can't buy single webcasts.
Would love to "support" certain authors but not if they're going to use Patreon's "shady porn website" model of commerce (repackaged as a "hip startup" model of commerce). It's rent-seeking, it's Silicon Valley, it's bad.
Naked Capitalism today republished a good essay on the media's callous under-reporting of deaths in Yemen, from the Radio War Nerd newsletter. I used to like reading The Nerd, until he jumped on the Patreon bandwagon. I checked Patreon again today to see if they had adopted a less sleazy way of billing "patrons," but no. They have the same smarmy FAQ entry below:
Can I make a one-time payment?
While one-time payments are a great feature idea [actually it's how magazine subscriptions worked for years and years -- you made a one-time payment and got x number of issues --tm], it's important we stay true to what Patreon is all about: Building a membership platform for creators. [that is, bleeding subscribers' credit cards]
At the moment [that is, for the last four years], Patreon only offer [sic] recurring memberships, and one time donations are not available. All patreon memberships are currently on recurring monthly, or annual (if your creator has this available) billing cadence. [ooh, cadence] You can learn more about how creators can bill their patrons, here. [link removed]
For now [meaning, forever, or until Patreon goes belly-up], the best way for a patron to subscribe to a creator with a one-time payment is to become a patron then simply cancel their membership after they have been successfully billed. [how convenient!] You'll know when you have been billed because you'll receive an email confirmation stating your payment has successfully processed.
Additionally, you can check your billing history to see when you were billed and if it has successfully processed.