It’s no surprise that content creators/influencers are constantly looking for new ways to monetize their content. Whether you’re an artist, a vlogger, podcaster, or photographer, developing online communities and fanbases has become one of the easiest an most effective ways to monetize their craft. This is simply because of exposure. The greater exposure creators have, the larger their fan base will be, and the more influence they have. In turn, they can monetize their content more easily.
Large platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Twitch recognized this, which is why they produced their own respective monetization programs for creators. Instead of earning money from collaborations with brands as most influencers do, these programs allow influencers/content creators to earn money via subscriptions and donations from their fans. In particular, the subscription model is especially beneficial to creators as they are better longterm business models that offer a more stable income.
Facebook introduced their own monetization program for content creators, Facebook fan subscriptions. In doing this, the company aimed to attract more content creators in order to have more original content available to Facebook users.
Below, we have laid out the specifics of Facebook fan subscriptions, as well as who its competitors are.
What are Facebook fan subscriptions?
In its pursuit to secure better content for its platform, Facebook launched fan subscriptions last April. Typically, Facebook users take to the platform to repost videos, photos, articles, etc. that they find on other websites. However, they do not use the platform to post original content. By launching this feature, the company aims to establish its own network of original content creators over time. In turn, Facebook can compete with others, like YouTube, which is currently the platform of choice for most content creators.
As the name suggests, Facebook fan subscriptions will allow content creators to make money on their work through a community of monthly subscribers. Essentially, this feature will enable Facebook fans to subscribe to their favorite influencers for a fixed price. The creators that are chosen to participate in Facebook fan subscriptions will pocket all the money they receive from their subscribers – for now at least. Facebook reported that it will not take a cut from the income creators earn via Facebook fan subscriptions while it’s still in a testing period.
While fan subscriptions will likely be popular with video content creators looking to monetize their content, this feature will also be of interest to creators who use the platform to publish written work and photos. Essentially, this would work for any content creator that has a ton of engagement on their page.
Although Facebook introduced this feature several months ago, it’s still in its testing stages. The company is only accepting a limited number of creators at the moment. In order to join Facebook’s community of paying supporters, as a content creator, you need to have a pre-existing and highly engaged fan-base.In doing this, Facebook is hoping to attract YouTube-like content creators.
How does it work?
Content creators can choose the monthly cost of their subscription, and keep all their earnings from it. Facebook wrote that this is their way of saying “thanks for your help with the test, you’ll keep 100% of your earnings, minus relevant fees, until the test period ends.” However, they will not be extending this courtesy to their content creators indefinitely. The company expressed that they “will share a portion of the earnings in the future, and you’ll be notified before this happens.”
As a way of supporting their most engaged fans, content creators can choose to reward their subscribers. They can offer their subscribers a number of rewards, “from exclusive content and badges to merchandise discounts”, wrote Facebook.
To be considered for Facebook’s fan subscriptions, creators must follow certain eligibility standards, which includes the following:
- Comply with Facebook’s Community Standards
- Comply with Facebook’s Payment Terms
- Comply with Facebook’s Page Terms
- Adhere to Facebook’s Content Guidelines for Monetization
- Share authentic content: Creators must post content that Facebook deems authentic. If they post anything that is flagged as misinformation or false news, creators could lose their eligibility to monetize their content using Facebook.
- Develop an established presence: Creators must have an “established presence” for at least 90 days.
Who does it benefit?
This feature could truly benefit all areas of the influencer industry. As previously mentioned, Facebook fan subscriptions will most likely continue to attract content creators that use videos and photos. However, this doesn’t mean the platform isn’t suitable for creators that use other mediums (podcasters, writers, etc).
Writers, photographers, musicians, and more could also easily use this program to generate income from their content. Ultimately, creators who have unique ideas and a decent amount of engaged followers can make fan subscriptions work.
In order for this feature to work well, influencers need to offer content that their fans can’t get anywhere else. Followers are more apt to subscribe to their favorite influencers if they feel like they’re getting something out of their subscription.
For example, yoga, fitness, beauty, and foodie influencers could benefit from Facebook’s fan subscription feature. Influencers in these areas of expertise (and others as well) can post how-to videos, new recipes, yoga courses, comedy, makeup tutorials, etc. These types of content would likely do well with Facebook fan subscriptions.
Who is Facebook competing with?
YouTube is probably the first platform that comes to mind when video creators are looking to monetize their content. The company’s Partner Programme pays a select amount of creators for the original content they post to their YouTube channel. Unlike other platforms that offer compensation for original content, creators earn money from YouTube red subscribers (YouTube Premium) and advertisements that are played before their videos begin.
The YouTube Partner Programme pays all of its content creators through their Adsense account. Creators are also asked to set monetization preferences upon applying for the Partner Programme, which is where creators can choose which kind of ad formats they’d like to serve their viewers. After going through these steps, applicants will have their channels reviewed for the programme.
It should be noted, however, that YouTube has become more strict with their eligibility requirements. To be considered for YouTube’s Partner Programme, your channel must reach “4000 watch hours in the previous 12 months and 1000 subscribers…”, stated Google. These requirements were introduced in January 2018, as an effort to safeguard the platform from spammers and impersonators.
As we’ve already established, Facebook isn’t the first platform to launch a program to help creators monetize their content. Similarly, on Twitch, many viewers make donations and subscribe to their favorite esports players for roughly $5 a month.
For example, Twitch broadcaster, ‘pianoimproman’, who streams videos of himself playing piano and singing song requests from his fans is compensated through monthly subscriptions and 1-time donations from his supporters.
The platform, which attracts over 15 million site visitors per day, also allows viewers to donate to broadcasters on a 1-time basis. While Twitch is often associated with esports streaming, the platform also has broadcasters that stream a ton of different content, including music, lifestyle vlogs, etc.
Many broadcasters use Twitch as their primary source of income, especially esports players. Some of the most popular streamers make well over 6 figures per year in subscriptions and donations from Twitch viewers.
The company has two unique programs for broadcasters who wish to use the platform to monetize their content: the Twitch Affiliate Program and the Twitch Partnership Program.
As noted by Twitch, their Affiliate Program requires the following eligibility criteria:
- At least 500 total minutes broadcast in the last 30 days
- At least 7 unique broadcast days in the last 30 days
- An average of 3 concurrent viewers or more over the last 30 days
- At least 50 Followers
The Twitch Partnership Program is geared towards broadcasters that are “committed to streaming”, wrote Twitch. The company expressed that “Twitch Partners are creators who stream a variety of content, from games, music, talk shows, art, to just about anything else you can imagine.” The Twitch Partnership Program is aimed towards those who have built a large following of highly engaged viewers.
Twitch pays broadcasters through a variety of methods, including direct deposit to a bank account, wire, PayPal, check, and in hold payments in certain circumstances.
Patreon stems from ‘patronage’, which, historically, is how most creators were paid. Patrons were typically aristocrats that provided funds to artists, play writers, novelists, etc. In turn, these creators produced content for them.
Patreon follows the same idea as patronage. Creators of all kinds can use Patreon to monetize their content, including podcasters, video creators, artists, writers, musicians, and more, in conjuction with a multitude of platforms (YouTube, Instagram, etc). Like the other programs we’ve listed, Patreon follows a subscription model where “patrons” (members) pay a monthly fee to their favorite creators. This constant stream of revenue allows creators to continue their craft without having to worry about how new content creation will impact them financially.
There are different subscriptions available to patrons. For instance, members can pay $5 a month to get early access to content, $10 a month for extra videos, or $20 a month for ‘behind the scenes’ access. Patreon says that their membership enables creators to have a direct relationship with their biggest fans, get recurring revenue, and create on their “own terms”.
Patreon prides itself on being transparent when it comes to fees. Creators keep 90% of their earnings, while Patreon takes 5% and the last 5% goes towards transaction fees. According to Patreon, they also shield creators from chargebacks, take care of chasing down declined payments, and track patron history and value.
Introducing fan subscriptions was a step in the right direction for Facebook, which is trying to expand its community content creators. Although it’s the largest social media platform, Facebook isn’t exactly synonymous with original content. Its users tend to repost videos, images, articles, etc that they have retrieved from other sites. Most content creators head to YouTube or Instagram to post their original work. However, Facebook’s fan subscriptions provide creators an incentive to start using the platform as a space for posting new content.
The company has a bit of work to do if it wants to catch up to its competitors in this area (like YouTube). Nevertheless, it’s a good start for Facebook, and perhaps fan subscriptions will help to encourage creators to share their works on the platform.
Read the article posted by Facebook HERE >