KQED Taps Patreon to Grow Deep Look, its Award-winning Digital Science Series

May 15, 2018 San Francisco, CA — KQED, the public media service in San Francisco, launches its first-ever-fan-funded initiative today for Deep Look, its award-winning YouTube series exploring big science concepts by going very small. KQED is partnering with Patreon, a San Francisco-based service provider to explore alternate revenue streams for its popular science series.

Deep Look releases three-to-five minute episodes shot in ultra-HD (4K), using macro cinematography and video microscopy, approximately twice a month and currently has more than 500,000 subscribers. The series marries the cinematic tradition of PBS nature documentaries with personal, question-driven popular YouTube shows. Patreon is a fast-growing membership platform servicing 100,000 active creators and 2 million patrons. Patreon allows creators to foster deeper relationships with their biggest fans through behind-the-scenes looks, additional content, and a sense of community in exchange for getting paid.

“Audience engagement is a priority for KQED and we’re exploring models beyond traditional public media membership," says John Boland, KQED's President. "Deep Look’s YouTube fans want more occasions to engage with Deep Look and Patreon's platform offers us an opportunity to develop a hybrid of engagement for fans while experimenting with an ongoing crowdfunding model."

Deep Look’s patrons on Patreon can contribute as little as $2 a month, all the way up to $250 or more.   The ongoing support directly from Deep Look fans will enable the series to film more videos and travel to locations it would not be able to go to without these patrons. In addition, Deep Look will offer patrons exclusive access to its production process and special rewards like online chats, digital downloads and exclusive schwag.

“I’m so excited to partner with KQED to take shows like Deep Look to the next level," says Jack Conte, CEO and Co-Founder, Patreon. KQED is leading public media’s charge on digital innovation, so for them to be using Patreon’s membership tech to finance their programming and expand their community is an exciting, pivotal moment for Patreon, and for public media holistically.”


Deep Look was originally created to reach a younger science-inclined audience and it has achieved this goal as 70 percent of its viewers are aged 18-34, much younger than the traditional PBS primetime viewer or listener. In its research of the crowdfunding landscape, KQED discovered that approximately 46.5 percent of crowdfunders are millennials, and in an April 2017 survey conducted by PBS Digital Studios, 75 percent of Deep Look subscribers were already familiar with crowdfunding and 22 percent have given through Patreon.

“We already know from our Deep Look fans on YouTube that they are very passionate about our science videos and highly interested in how we make them,” says Craig Rosa Deep Look’s series producer. “Having Deep Look on Patreon will give us the opportunity to identify our super fans and hopefully give us the extra resources to give them more!”

Deep Look’s long-term goals on Patreon are as follows:

  • Special Series on Desert Life - $5,000/month - If this first goal is reached, Deep Look will travel to the deserts of the southwestern United States and produce three episodes about the wild creatures of this forbidding wilderness.
  • Emerging Media Maker Fellowship - $10,000/month - If this second goal is reached, it will sponsor an up-and-coming filmmaker for a 6-month production fellowship with the Deep Look team.
  • Special Tutorial or Enhanced Content - $15,000/month - If this goal is reached, the team will create a special “behind-the-lens” episode that reveals its camerawork and filming secrets, including editing techniques, musical score decisions and more.
  • Full Extra Episode for Patreon Fans - $20,000/month - At this reward level, patrons will help unlock the team’s ability to create additional original episodes of Deep Look that will be premiered for patrons first.
  • Traveling the World (5 additional episodes) - $30,000/month - If this goal is achieved, the team will travel to Costa Rica, the home country of coordinating producer, Gabriela Quirós, and produce a special 5-episode series in the rainforests of Costa Rica.

Deep Look announces its Patreon launch today, in its new Deep Look episode, “You've Heard of a Murder of Crows. How About a Crow Funeral?”

About Deep Look
Deep Look launched in October 2014 and is presented in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios.  Deep Look’s award-winning production team includes: Craig Rosa, series producer; Gabriela Quirós, coordinating producer; Josh Cassidy, lead producer and cinematographer; Elliott Kennerson, producer, editor and post-production coordinator; host and writer, Lauren Sommer and guest host and writer Laura Klivans.  Each episode has an original score by Seth Samuel, as well as additional editing and motion graphics by Kia Simon. Many episodes also include special animations by Teodros Hailye.

Deep Look’s awards include:  June 2017, a Northern California Emmy® Award in the Health/Science/Environment-Feature/Segment category for The Snail-Smashing, Fish-Spearing, Eye-Popping Mantis Shrimp; April 2017, a Webby People’s Voice Award in the Science and Education Film and Video category for How Mosquitoes Use Six Needles to Suck Your Blood; and October 2015, Best Limited Series – Short Form at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. Deep Look currently produces 20 videos per year. The entire series with accompanying articles can be accessed at KQED.org/DeepLook and on YouTube.com/KqedDeepLook.

Funding for Deep Look is provided in part by PBS Digital Studios. Deep Look is a project of KQED Science, which is supported by the Templeton Religion Trust and the Templeton World Charity Foundation, the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation, the Vadasz Family Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Fuhs Family Foundation Fund and the members of KQED.

About Patreon
Patreon is a membership platform that connects creators with their biggest fans and enables those fans to become paying members, or patrons, of their favorite creators. Co-founded in 2013 by YouTube star Jack Conte of the band Pomplamoose, we believe that every creator in today's digital economy should get paid. Patreon is the best place for creators to establish ongoing and predictable monthly revenue and expand their career as a creator. Patreon also helps fans connect in a new way with the creators they love most. Patreon works with over 100,000 creators and sent over $350 million to artists and creators who have Patreon pages, whether they are creating podcasts, music, fiction, game streams, online videos, photography, visual art, and more. For information about the company, visit patreon.com.

About KQED
KQED serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. An NPR and PBS affiliate based in San Francisco, KQED is home to one of the most listened-to public radio stations in the nation, one of the highest-rated public television services and an award-winning education program helping students and educators thrive in 21st-century classrooms. A trusted news source and leader and innovator in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration — exposing them to new people, places and ideas.

About PBS Digital Studios
PBS has long brought the public original, thought-provoking programming. PBS Digital Studios takes that same mission and applies it to the Internet age. Working with creators from across the web, its network of short-form video series showcases the best of the Internet while also celebrating the best parts of public television.