Monetizing YouTube content has always posed a challenge, but recent changes to ad revenue have made it even more difficult. Content creators need a more reliable way to pay their bills.
Created in 2005, YouTube has become the largest video sharing platform online, generating roughly 650 million hours of watchtime per day. That’s millions of minutes of user attention that Google can sell advertising against and share a percentage of the revenue with the content creators. Yet, live streamers are incorporating other platforms to generate a more stable income – why?
Making Money on YouTube
When they started, a creator who wanted to monetize their videos on YouTube had to get permission to pair sponsored ads with their content. The creator and the network had a very close relationship.
This made the ability to earn money on YouTube an exclusive privilege available to the few, which in turn drove up the price of ad placements (and revenue for creators) as advertisers were willing to pay top dollar to be featured on only the most popular channels. From this environment, the YouTube Star was born.
However, over the last few years, significant changes to the monetization policies on the world’s largest video sharing platform YouTube have altered the way creators make money with their content. In April of 2012, Google opened up automated monetization options to anyone who publishes original content on YouTube, whether they garnered 10 views per video or 10,000,000. Thus, flooding the market with a fresh supply of cheap advertising inventory.
As a result, prices and payouts per thousand views dropped by almost 30%. For those who had fewer than several million subscribers, the days of making a living through YouTube ad revenue were numbered.
New Sources of Supplemental Income
Because of these changes to the way ad revenue works on YouTube, many channel owners and live streaming hosts are turning to other means to supplement their income. Some have opened “merch” stores that allow fans to buy t-shirts, mugs, stickers, and even custom-made pomade. Others partner with corporate brands who sponsor video segments or ask creators to produce sponsored content.
YouTube’s most powerful asset continues to be its ability to easily connect creators to the largest pool of viewers available online. With this access, creators have attracted sizeable audiences that can still be mobilized to generate revenue through other platforms.
One such source of new revenue for these creators is Patreon, a subscription-style fan engagement platform where creators ask their most hardcore fans to pay a monthly fee for access to exclusive premium content. The incredible success of Patreon, marked by a recent investment of $30m, proves that fans are looking to purchase exclusive personalized experiences.
Transforming Attention Into Income
Here’s how you can start making money through offering exclusive fan experiences now. Let’s say you have a relatively large audience because of your Let’s Play videos on YouTube. As a content creator, your goal is to provide your fans with the exclusive content they crave — all while generating revenue outside of YouTube ads. The Call List is the perfect platform to accomplish this.
The Call List is the newest, most innovative addition to this growing cadre of monetization methods: a live streaming platform that allows content creators to sell exclusive, live, interactive access. At these unique, intimate events, content creators (we call them “hosts”) can see each member of their audience, answer questions, and further drive engagement with their fanbase, all while creating additional revenue.
With The Call List, you can create an exclusive event open to a predetermined number of fans to collectively explore your passion. Influencers in the health, wellness, and beauty space, for example, could run makeup tutorials to showcase the latest styles and products in an interactive format, with a well managed system for audience engagement. Q&A is a breeze with the hand-raise feature that puts presenters in control of who is able to speak when, and puts audience members and fans in the front row for interactions with their idols and favorite brands.
What’s more, you can create a deep link to your Call List event and embed it in YouTube video descriptions or other social sharing platforms to ensure that all of your fans who want access are sent directly to your events. Plus, when the event is over, you’ll be able to download an archived video recording (which you can edit and publish on other channels), as well as a complete list of opt-in contact information (which you can use to continue conversations with your diehard fans).
Claim Your Fifteen Minutes of Fame
For the better part of three decades, the internet has existed as a sort of wild west in terms of content monetization. These market conditions have meant that content creators have continually struggled to understand exactly what needs to be done in order to carve out a living on the world wide web. And, all too often, when it seems they’ve perhaps cracked the code, the networks change the goalposts (i.e. monetization policies) once again.
Don’t let this happen to you!
It doesn’t appear that the days of high-revenue yields for YouTube ads on small or medium-sized channels will return anytime soon. With that reality in mind, YouTube creators should consider new strategies to generate income.
If you’re ready to get started on your path to selling exclusive interactive experiences to your followers, claim your 15 minutes of fame now and create your first event on The Call List app.