Streaming live video on Facebook was introduced on the social network in 2015 and has been gaining prominence over the years with Facebook users. However, there’s been no serious financial incentive for many to go live there — until now.
This week the company said it will begin opening up paid live broadcasting to the general public. That is folks who have over 2,000 followers and can get at least 300 people to watch one of their live broadcasts concurrently. Facebook will share 55% of the ad revenues with live broadcasters.
Facebook says the new initiative is in beta, and if you meet the qualifications, you could get a notification to sign up. (Facebook did pay media companies and celebrities initially to post live broadcasts when it went wide with Live mid-2015, but it was a limited group.)
Facebook’s main video rival, YouTube, has been paying folks a 55% share of ad revenues for years, in exchange for making videos that post on YouTube.
YouTube recently started offering live mobile streaming and used the financial juice as its big selling point against Facebook. Go live on YouTube and get paid, was the pitch.
But both networks have caveats. On YouTube, you need 10,000 subscribers to qualify for live mobile streaming and the 55% share of ad revenues.
If you do meet Facebook’s qualifications, the company will reach out to you and invite you to have ads inserted into your live video via a notification.
From there, when you click on the LIVE button to begin broadcasting, there will be a $ icon.
If you click and accept it, your first 15-second ad, from the Facebook ad network, could run 4 minutes into your broadcast, momentarily stopping your live stream. The second break will come 5 minutes later.
“Viewers will see a counter in the corner of their screen that notifies them when you will be coming back,” says Facebook. “After the ad is over, your viewers will return to your live broadcast, and you may resume as usual.”
You don’t have to run the ad in your live show if you don’t want, and viewers can’t skip through ads.
For consumers, once the feature goes wide, this means you’ll be seeing a lot more ads in your live shots. Two spots an hour doesn’t bother me.
I’m thrilled to see Facebook finally sharing the wealth with its users.