I'm sure you're all aware of Super Chats at this point, a way for viewers to donate to your live streams. We’ve actually covered this, highlighting how a creator was able to earn $200 from just 48 minutes of live-streaming with less than 50,000 subscribers.
But what if you could monetize your entire catalog this way, so that people could donate, like a tip jar, to any video on your channel? Yeah, that's coming to YouTube.
We've stressed this before when it comes to turning your YouTube channel into a business, try and rely as little as possible on YouTube ad revenue alone. There are so many more efficient money-making opportunities, including brand deals, sponsorships, merchandising.
The off-platform opportunities are almost endless, but it's always nice when YouTube adds another money-making opportunity. We've had Super Chats, we've had Memberships, and now we have something that YouTube are calling Viewer Applause.
YouTube Viewer Applause & Revenue Generation
Now before you excitedly rush onto YouTube to enable this, a word of caution. As of time of writing, Viewer Applause is currently in beta, and open only to those invited by YouTube to test it. We will do a full-on tutorial once it's officially released, but here's what we currently know.
Of course, the prerequisite to all of this is that you will need to be in the YouTube Partner Program, allowing you to monetize your content.
From the new Creator Studio, if you click on the Monetization tab to the left, and then click on the Supers tab at the top of this page, you should see a toggle that will allow you to enable Viewer Applause. And from a creator perspective, that's pretty much it. There isn't any level of sophistication. Presumably, when YouTube rolls this out to everybody, you'll be able to go into individual videos and turn this off like you would do monetization on an individual video.
Now let's take a look at this from a viewer perspective, what can they do with your Viewer Applause? The viewer will see this Applaud button nestled in next to likes and dislikes, so when you click on this, you'll be given the option to buy applause and show your support.
Currently, this is only available on the desktop viewing experience of YouTube. There are purchase limits to Viewer Applause of $500 U.S. dollars a day, and $2,000 a week, those totals are combined with Super Chats and Super Stickers. A viewer can applaud a video as many times as they wish, but each applause is non-refundable, and it is important to stress at this point, it doesn't create a paywall on the video, this is all treated as a donation or a tip jar.
At this point, the look feel, design, button placement, and donation amount for YouTube Applause could all change based on tester feedback. Now in this sense, I've got to give YouTube some credit here, I've never seen such an open beta testing function.
Viewer Applause: 70/30 Revenue Split in Favor of Creators
For example, we've all heard about YouTube bringing A/B thumbnail testing to the creator community, but I don't think any of us have seen it out in the wild. But with this, they seem to be openly sharing it with those why are keen to test it, on channels of all shapes and sizes, and those who do test it will benefit from the revenue split, which is 70/30 in the creator's favor, as always for these types of things.
And just imagine if this does get out of the testing phase and is released to all creators. And have it on every single video that you release, it's not just restricted to live streamers.
When you start to implement calls to action to that applaud button in your video, much like many of the fan funding opportunities that people already promote in Patreons and YouTube memberships, that could be a significant increase in revenue for many creators. So, for YouTube, on this one, I really do applaud them. Forgive the pun.
In my personal opinion, I think this is a no-brainer, a fantastic idea from YouTube that's going to benefit many creators on the platform. But I'd love to hear your opinions on this, especially from those who are just YouTube viewers. Do you think you would donate to creators through the applaud button? Or is it just another money-making exercise from YouTube themselves? And, for creators, I'd love to know how you would inventively use the applaud button in your videos as call to actions.
Now, there's one more thing we need to consider here, and I think this is going to be a common occurrence throughout future YouTube videos, and that is whether or not this going to benefit kids content creators. Unfortunately, given the amount of personal information that YouTube is going to see from the viewer, especially when it comes to credit card details, I can't see this getting anywhere near kids’ content creation.
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