The main reach platforms are battling to attract new creators and keep ‘the big and the talent’ by empowering them to monetize content.
In this article, we introduce how to monetize content for creators of all kinds, based on the most up-to-date information in 2023, from the main reach platforms including YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitch, Spotify, and Apple Podcast. We will also introduce if the monetization offerings apply to Nordic creators.
1. How to monetize content as a long video creator
Main reach platform monetization milestones
For longer video creators, the standard model on the reach platforms is [ Share ads revenue + Power paid subscription solutions + Enable tipping/gifting + Platform funds + Brand / Audience Networks].
1.1 Subscription model
Which platform to choose highly depends on where the creators have their largest online following. YouTube has the widest geographic coverage and lowest entry threshold, while Meta is focusing on bigger creators in their key markets.
- YouTube membership is the most mature one, released early in 2018. It has lower entry thresholds, supports creators to set multiple tiers and covers more than 100 markets worldwide. YouTube takes 30% of the revenue away.
- Facebook subscriptions are prone to attract and keep bigger creators (with followers >10k) who can create posts with high engagement. They claim to take 0 shares of what creators earned from paid subscriptions, until 2024.
- Instagram subscription is the only solution which is powering fans-fans and creators-fans connection via DM or chat groups. However, it’s now invite-only, targeting big creators (>100k) and not available in Nordic countries. As a part of the Meta program, they claim to take 0 shares from creators' revenue until 2024.
1.2 Tipping and gifting
Tipping & gifting is another passive income from true fans. Among the main reach platforms, YouTube has the widest cover and lowest entry threshold.
- YouTube Super thanks. For creators in the YouTube Partner Program, they can turn on the super thanks function under the videos. Their viewers can then buy an animation called Super Thanks on a channel’s video page. As an added bonus, purchasers will also get a colourful, and customisable comment in the video’s comments section. YouTube takes away 30%.
- Facebook Stars. Creators with more than 1,000 followers can turn on the Star function. Fans can then send stars to creators' videos, lives, and reels. Each star cost fans 0.01 $. With every star received, a creator can get the full 1 cent. Not available in Nordic countries. Facebook wouldn’t take shares until 2024.
1.3 Revenue share
Ad revenue share. For creators who are qualified to create ad-friendly content, are willing to insert ads and whose videos got views, the (ad) revenue share can be an appealing passive income stream.
- YouTube ad revenue. Creators earn by inserting ads in videos. Advertisers pay based on clicks and impressions. YouTube gives the content creator 55% of this revenue and takes 45% for itself. Available to creators in the YouTube Partner Program.
- YouTube premium revenue. The creators earn by taking a share of YouTube's premium revenue. This share is proportionate to the amount of watch time the creator receives. If the total YouTube Premium earnings for one month was $1,000, and the content accounted for 0.1% of all YouTube Premium watch time, the creator would earn $1 of YouTube Premium revenue. Available to YPP-qualified creators whose content has been watched by a premium viewer.
- Facebook in-stream ads revenue share. Creators earn by inserting ads in videos. Facebook gives 55% of the revenue. Targeting bigger creators (>10k).
2. How to monetize content as a podcast creator
Aside from advertisement-related monetisation opportunities like branded content and audience network, the top 2 podcast directories, Apple and Spotify, started powering in-app paid subscriptions for creators.
Pricing is the biggest difference between the two subscription solutions. Apple takes a 30% share plus an annual fee from the creators, while Spotify only starts taking 5% from 2023 onwards. The difference manifested their different strategies.
Apple aimed to take a cut of the growing trend of subscription podcasts. Apple Podcast listeners can subscribe to podcasts directly with just a push of a button, in the podcast app pre-installed on every iPhone. This easy UX means it could be easy to convert a free listener to a subscriber. Apple seems to have bet that if the conversion rate is significantly high, some podcasters would be willing to pay for activating ‘subscription’ and share some revenue.
Spotify's pricing is closer to industry standards, like that of Patreon. It will start charging the 5% take rate from 2023 onwards. They aimed to 1) attract high-quality podcasters with more revenue share and 2) attract more new starters who would aspire to start a subscription in the future. By doing this they boost the number of creators, and more importantly the amount of both free and premium content, which are better for both advertising and user growth.
3. How to monetize content as a short video creator
Aside from supporting brand collaborations, reach platforms have at least 3 key ways of attracting and keeping creators by offering them monetisation opportunities: [Platform funding + Viewers gifting and tipping + Ads revenue share].
3.1 Platform funding
The common aim is to encourage creators to keep producing high-quality short videos with cash rewards. How much a creator can earn usually depends on their content performance.
- YouTube Shorts Fund. A fund started with $100M targeting short-video creators in more than 100 countries. The fund has gradually faded out of view since YouTube introduced a new way of entering YPP starting in Feb 2023.
- Meta Reels Bonus. Part of Meta’s $1B investment in creator monetisation, targeting short-video creators in 3 key markets in the U.S.
- TikTok Creator Funds. A fund started with $200M targeting bigger short-video creators (at least 10k followers) whose videos have gone viral (at least 100k views in the last 30 days).
3.2 Fans tipping or gifting
The aim is to encourage creators to continue producing high-quality short videos, by enabling viewers to show support via sending rewards. The rewards can be direct cash or virtual currencies that could be redeemed later.
- YT Super thanks. YT updated in autumn that from 2023 onwards, shorts creators will also be able to monetize by receiving tipping as ‘super thanks’ from viewers. YT will take 30% of the revenue.
- Facebook stars. Targeting creators in key markets with more than 1,000 followers. Viewers will need to purchase Facebook Star first. Creators keep 100% if the viewers paid via the web, until 2024.
- TikTok video gifts. Targeting creators in key markets with more than 100,000 followers. Viewers will need to purchase TikTok coins first. TikTok will take a 50% share.
- TikTok tips. Targeting creators in the U.S. with more than 100,000 followers. Direct cash reward. Creators keep 100%.
3.3 Ads revenue share
- On FB, Ins, if the short video creators also have shared longer videos with inserted ads, they can earn by sharing the platform’s ads revenue. The catch here, however, is that creators can’t share ad revenue if they have only created and shared short videos. (Affiliates and branded content are not discussed here).
- Compared with them, TikTok was once condemned because they didn’t share ad revenue with creators. Answering that, in May 2022 the company introduced TikTok Pulse. In the program, the company would run ads against the top 4% performed videos and share ad revenue with the creators of those content. This actually was the first case where creators who only make short videos can get an ad revenue share from the platform.
- Shortly after TikTok's move, in the autumn of 2022, YouTube announced that from Feb 2023 onwards, YT shorts creators can also share ad revenue on a 45/55 ratio, just like the longer video creators.
4. How to monetize content as a live-streamer
Aside from brand collaborations and merchandise, streamers can usually monetize content by [Live channel subscription + in-stream gifting + ads revenue share].
4.1 Live subscription
- YouTube Membership. Qualified creators can also make live one of the members-only perks. It’s also possible for them to set the live-chat member only.
- Twitch subscription. Twitch affiliates or partners can activate this and start earning. creators can offer paid fans emotes, badges, ad-free viewing, subscriber-only archives, streams and chats. The big downside is that Twitch takes a 50% share, which has been complained about a lot by creators.
- TikTok subscription. Came in beta in May 2022, resembling a mobile version of Twitch, it’s a strong competitor in the live-streaming world and it’s preferred by new-bee creators, as its algorithm makes them easier to be found. No clear disclosure of how much the company would take.
4.2 Live gifting & tipping
- YouTube super chats & super stickers. In live streams, the viewers can purchase Super Chats to highlight their messages within a live chat. Viewers can also purchase Super Stickers to see a digital or animated image that pops up in the live chat feed. Both super chats and stickers have various price points. YouTube takes a 30% share.
- Facebook stars. Fans purchase and send stars to Creators' lives. Each star costs fans slightly more than 0.01 $. With every star received, a creator can get 0.01 $. Facebook will not take share before 2024, but purchases made from apple/google play devices would need to include a 30% deduction.
- Instagram badges. During Instagram live, viewers can purchase ‘badges’ to support creators. These are available in $0.99, $1.99 and $4.99 USD increments. Instagram will not take share before 2024, but purchases made from apple/google play would need to include a 30% deduction.
- TikTok live gifts. Viewers need to buy coins first, which is the ‘TikTok currency’. 65 coins require about 0.99$. Viewers can then buy ‘gifts' with the coins and send the gifts to creators. The received gifts will then turn into 'diamonds’ in the creators' wallets. The creators can redeem the diamonds for money. The diamonds are worth about 50% of the coins, which means TikTok takes a commission of 50%.
- Twitch bits. Viewers can show support by buying and sending bits in the live chat. Creators receive $0.01 for every Bit. Twitch claims that they don't take a share of the income.
4.3 Ads revenue sharing
Sharing 55% of the ad revenue has become the industry standard for video creators and streamers. Twitch just adopted this percentage-based model as well in June 2022.
Many reach platform monetisation offerings are not available for creators of all sizes and are not in Nordic markets now. To be able to monetize content on those platforms, creators need to fit certain criteria on either fanbase size or content performance. YouTube is the only video platform where nordic creators can earn via multiple methods (from membership to tipping), while Meta, TikTok, and Twitch either have their focuses elsewhere, or have some programs now in the invite-only beta stage, or without clear information on whether or when they’d be available to Nordics.
Compared with the main reach platforms, VOYD offers you a great way to generate extra income from your content, and helps you as a digital creator to prevent putting all eggs into the same bucket, be it YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, or other main reach platforms. Here below are a few highlights of VOYD, check our website to learn more!
✅ No entry threshold like a number of followers or watch time, no application or wait time needed.
✅ Bigger revenue share when it’s Pay Per View - you got 80% of the revenue.
✅ Better control of one’s own business model. You can use VOYD as a content archive that sells individual content, sell stuff in packages, or a platform to run a membership business.
✅ No minimum payout threshold. Most reach platforms require $100 as the minimum, which can be super difficult for smaller creators, it means the video needs to have at least 20,000 views to earn this much from ads.
✅ The option for fans to set prices themselves.
✅ The possibility to update the minimum / fixed price for a membership, which is currently not supported on Facebook & Instagram subscriptions.
✅ Swedish-friendly payment methods. We support Klarna, Swish, PayPal and many more.
✅ The option of not providing any perks and leaving it as a one-time/monthly donation channel. On main reach platforms, it’s compulsory to provide at least 1 perk before receiving support from fans.