*By Christian Smith* The internet is moving away from an ad-based revenue system says Jack Conte, co-founder and CEO of Patreon, a platform that allows people to pay for access to exclusive content from digital creators. That trend is evidenced by the growth that Patreon saw in 2018, Conte said in an interview on Cheddar Wednesday, the same day the company announced it now has more than 3 million subscribers, or "patrons," with more than 100,000 creators on the platform. The company began 2018 with 2 million patrons supporting its content. "I think what's driving this growth that Patreon is seeing, and I think membership in general, is the larger trend of the movement of the web from an ad-based system into a consumer payments-based system," Conte said. Patreon's growth in 2018, however, didn't come without some controversy. Patreon came under fire for removing some content creators from its platform for engaging in what it defines as hate speech. Some critics claimed Patreon was restricting free speech, but Conte told Cheddar the company is upfront with creators about its anti-hate speech policy. "We're serious about not allowing hate speech, and when a creator does that, we reach out, we tell them what's going on, and most of the time we're able to work with creators and sometimes we're not, but we draw a hard line on hate speech," Conte said. For full interview [click here](https://cheddar.com/videos/creator-crowdfunding-platform-patreon-hits-three-million-subscribers).

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