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YouTube used its annual VidCon keynote to tout the monetization opportunities for creators on its platform, unveiling updates to some of the tools that talent can use to earn non-advertising revenue.
“The idea is to have as diverse of a pool of products in a way that is as easy to use for creators as possible,” chief product officer Neal Mohan told The Hollywood Reporter ahead of his onstage talk on Thursday.
Most creators make money on YouTube through a revenue share program that gives them a cut of the advertising dollars earned on their channels. But they are often looking to diversify their businesses and, in the past, have had to turn to opportunities off YouTube to do so.
YouTube has looked for ways to keep creators earning on its platform by offering other revenue opportunities. Among them are Super Chat, a feature that allows fans to pay to make their comments more visible during live streams and premieres. Over 90,000 channels have used the feature, Mohan revealed, with some streams earning more than $400 per minute. Now, YouTube is adding to the feature with Super Stickers, which will allow fans to purchase animated stickers during live video broadcasts.
Last year, YouTube also introduced Channel Memberships, which allows fans to pay a monthly fee for access to special perks from their favorite creators. To expand the program, YouTube has added different membership levels so that creators can set up to five different price points with varying perks.
Further, YouTube has added five new partners — including Rooster Teeth, Fanjoy and Represent — to its merch program, which gives creators the ability to sell products directly through their channels.
“If you think about what YouTube does for creators,” Mohan summarized, “it strives to give them opportunities.”
YouTube has been offering monetization tools to creators since it launched the Partners Program in 2007. Though creators have been know to become frustrated when YouTube makes changes that impact their ability to make money, it is still the most advanced of the social platforms in terms of sharing revenue with talent. Facebook, which launched its Watch video platform in 2017, rolled out new monetization features on Tuesday, including an ability to send tips during live streams.
As part of its VidCon presence, YouTube also said that it was launching a button that will allow fans to directly donate to a creator’s cause. The feature, which was previously being tested with a smaller group of users, will automate the process of giving 100 percent of the donation to a nonprofit of the creator’s choice.
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