YouTube is adding a couple of new features to help creators get a better understanding of channel performance, and to promote merchandise sales during live-streams, while it's also boosting its COVID-19 fundraising efforts.
First off, YouTube's rolling out a new, integrated channel performance chart in Creator Studio which will display views, subscriber count, watch time and revenue performance within a single display.
As explained by YouTube Creator Insider Tom Leung:
"A new report in YouTube studio merges two existing monthly insights about subscriber performance and revenue performance, and then adds a new analysis for views. It includes a new visualization, with a monthly bar chart showing 13 months, so that you can quickly guage monthly performance and identify potential seasonal trends."
It's sort of like a mini-Google Analytics display within YouTube, making it easier to get a quick overview of how your channel is performing, with helpful summary indicators on each tab to highlight trends.
YouTube's also adding a new 'Live Alerts for Merch' feature, which will highlight merch sales, made via Teespring, within your live-stream comments thread.
As you can see here, whenever a user makes a purchase from your integrated Teespring store during a live-stream, an alert will pop-up in the comments stream, with a link for others to tap through and view the item. That could help creators promote their merchandise among fans, providing another way to boost their revenue streams through YouTube's tools.
Live-stream viewing has seen a big jump during the COVID-19 lockdowns, and YouTube says that add-on sales and subscription features are also seeing significant increases as a result.
"Over 80,000 channels have earned money from [monetization] products over the last 28 days alone, which is an increase of 20% since March. We've also an increase of over 40% since January in channels who earn the majority of their revenue from Super Chat, Super Stickers, memberships and merch."
Super Chat and Super Stickers are YouTube's live-streamer donation tools, which enable viewers to allocate money to their favorite streamers during a broadcast.
Super Chat is still only available to a limited number of YouTubers, but it has seen significant growth in usage over the last year.
Back in November, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki reported that more than 100,000 channels were using Super Chat, with some streams are earning more than $400 per minute "as fans reach out to creators to say hello, send congratulations, or just to connect."
The use of Super Chat has also grown again amid the COVID-10 lockdowns:
"Since the beginning of March, 2 million viewers have bought their first Super Chat, Super Sticker or membership on YouTube."
Given the increases in live-stream monetization, it makes sense for YouTube to add in more options to help streamers generate more revenue, and it'll be interesting to see if this feature is extended, potentially with more eCommerce links and options for creators in future.
In order to utilize the new option, your YouTube channel needs to be eligible for monetization, and integrated with Teespring (more info on the process here).
And finally, YouTube is also expanding its giving feature, which will enable more artists to raise funds via their YouTube live-streams - while it's also adding a new option for charity organizations to provide direct links to their fundraisers which other YouTubers can then include in their videos.
YouTube is also looking to raise more funds to COVID-19 relief effort through its giving tools:
"YouTube and Google.org are matching $2 for every $1 donated up to $5 million if you participate in the COVID-19 solidarity response fund for the WHO."
These are some interesting updates, with a particular focus on live-streamers - with, as noted, has also become a much bigger consideration for viewers during the coronavirus shut-ins. Given the rise in live consumption, it could be worth considering whether there's value in your brand looking to run live-stream, in replacement of in-person events, while these new revenue tools will also add more incentive for high-profile streamers to keep broadcasting, bringing even more viewers to the platform.
You can check out YouTube's latest Creator Insider video update here.