Well, I think I can safely say we knew this would happen: more ways to monetize content. Facebook actually has three new additions, one for gamers called the Level Up; which I will not address here, and YouTube followed suit. This all happened earlier this month. Here is what’s happening if you missed it.
More Ways for Creators to Monetize Content on Facebook.
Brand Collabs Manager – Facebook is trying to open up opportunities for brands to seek out creators for collaboration. It enables brands seek to out those creators so deals can be established and partnerships made.
Ad Breaks – This one allows publishers to insert short ad breaks into videos they upload or into existing videos in their Facebook libraries. This was first introduced for limited creators, but now it’s expanding and comes with new guidelines.
Expanding Fan Subscriptions – Is this Patreon coming to Facebook? In a nutshell, fans of creators can now pledge $4.99 per month in exchange for perks like exclusive content and a special badge highlighting them as one of your supporters.
All three of these are interesting. The concept here is not new, but it’s a more defined focus for Facebook. How the the brands and creators play out in this new process is yet to be seen. Statistics show that services similar to Ad Breaks work, but anyone diving into it will need to tread lightly and monitor their results.
The fan subscriptions? This will likely work for people with a nice chunk of loyal fans who adore them and are poised on the edge of their seats waiting for their next insights. But it’s a time-intensive strategy because you are committed to producing that extra content every month whether you have five subscribers or 5,000. And how many more $4.99-a-months can the average content consumer handle (or justify)? I guess we will all see.
Facebook Group Subscriptions
You know all those groups you belong to on Facebook? Well, you can now turn your Facebook group into a membership. Another option for monetizing your content.
I’m wondering just how many people will move their paid membership community to Facebook. They will get more engagement there for sure. And they might see it as a solution for a community that isn’t thriving on their own site.
But, and it’s a big but, though most people state that their groups are for the good of a specific community, it’s really the administrator/owner’s platform. So that brings up the whole issue of who owns the content. If your group or page is not on your own site, do you have the capability of controlling the content or does Facebook’s fine print say that it ultimately belongs to them? Surprisingly, I see people who adamantly argue about the critical importance of owning your own content and yet I see them putting theirs on sites like Patreon. And what happens if they change their Terms of Service? What will those changes mean and how will it affect you? Myself, I still like to own my content.
YouTube Adds Their Two Cents
YouTube is jumping onboard, too.
Channel Memberships – Another monthly subscription for $4.99. What was previously available a few is now open to anyone who has 100K or more subscribers. (There had to be a catch, right?)
I’m sure there are plenty of channels worthy of this, but no matter what you offer, I think the real challenge will be transitioning your free followers to paid subscribers.
Ticketing and Merchandising – You can now allow fans to purchase tickets to your events via Ticketmaster, an added bonus if you do paid events. Same with merchandise. Using Teespring, you create a shelf of merchandise people can purchase right then and there.
Both of these of decent add-ons. If you are selling tickets or merchandise, this just gives you another venue to make it easier for your YouTube fans to buy from you.
With both Facebook and YouTube, these new offerings are both interesting and not surprising. You might think I was a bit skeptical on these, but that’s my nature. Personally, nothing is tempting me here (yet), but I will be interested in see if anyone I know jumps at any of this. I’m sure there are plenty of creators out there who will have success with these strategies and I wish them the best.
One fact remains, though. Options for creators to monetize content are growing by leaps and bounds.
An audio option for this post.