The competition for digital video is getting more intense, with YouTube now offering to pay top platform creators to try its newer features, including paid memberships and its enhanced ‘Super Chat’ tools.
As reported by Bloomberg, YouTube is reportedly offering “tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars” to popular platform stars to showcase the new tools.
Those new options include YouTube’s merchandise ‘shelf’ for product tie-ins, and Channel Memberships, both of which were released back in June.
The tools were rolled out in response to concerns that YouTube wasn't offering enough revenue generation options, which had lead to some prominent creators switching to other platforms.
Again, as noted by Bloomberg:
“Many people with large followings on the video site have complained that [YouTube] doesn’t offer ways to make money beyond advertising, and that YouTube’s efforts to shield advertisers from controversial content has hurt their sales.”
As you’ll recall, YouTube has been embroiled in ongoing controversy around ad placements on the site, with several brands unhappy that their ads have been included alongside controversial material.
Amid those concerns, Facebook and Amazon, through their own burgeoning video platforms (Instagram and Twitch respectively), have offered up new options to entice creators across, with Twitch, in particular, seeing success with its offerings.
But YouTube, with its 1.8 billion active users, won’t be giving up without a fight – this new push would ideally see more platform creators showcasing just how beneficial YouTube’s new revenue streams can be, helping to convince others to try them out, and subsequently, stay with the platform.
It’s interesting to watch the rising competition for video content. While new platforms, like Facebook Watch, don’t seem to be generating a heap of traction as yet, Instagram's IGTV has already formed partnerships with a range of prominent users - and really, it'll only take a few of those stars to switch their audiences across for that to become a much bigger issue for YouTube.
Consider, for example, if YouTube celebrity PewDiePie were to start broadcasting on Twitch instead. PewDiePie’s videos see, on average, close to 10 million views per day. That’d be a significant hit for YouTube to take.
And that’s just one YouTube star – if another platform were to provide a significant reason for several to move across... You can see YouTube’s concern.
Whether enticing more creators to try out its new tools will help improve take-up is hard to say, but if a few stars see big benefits, and highlight how they can supplement their ad income, that can only work in YouTube’s favor.
But again, YouTube's move to pay stars for such further underlines just how much the battle for online video supremacy is heating up. Worth keeping an eye on the developments in this space.