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How to Make Money Using YouTube Livestream

Published: February 14, 2021 Updated: February 7, 2021

Live stream events are a great way to grow your influence on YouTube and create an additional revenue stream. If you haven’t incorporated it into your channel strategy, now is a good time to consider it. Research has shown that the livestream industry is expected to reach $124 billion by 2025. Although live streaming has been around for over two decades, its popularity has surged over the last few years. And here are some additional stats to prove it:

  • 44 percent of consumers worldwide are watching less TV as a result of live streaming, and 70 percent of those who live stream video content do so more than once every day, according to Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)
  • The IAB global network also reports that 47 percent of live video viewers around the world are streaming more live video content compared with a year ago
  • Nielsen’s 2018 U.S. video 360 report indicates that, as of 2018, 80 percent of online users have used either a streaming service or an application to watch video content online during an average week
  • Consumers watch live video content 10 to 20 times longer than other forms of on-demand content, according to Forrester
  • Lives streaming is projected to account for 84 percent of all internet traffic in 2020.

With over 2 billion monthly active users and about five billion videos being watched every single day, YouTube has become one of the leading live-streaming platforms for corporates, brands, and everyone in between to reach their target audience in real-time. Here are some interesting YouTube Livestream statistics:

  • 81 percent of those surveyed in a recent study conducted by Livestream said they’d rather watch a live video on YouTube or any other platform than read a blog or social media post.
  • What’s more, 70 percent chose YouTube Live as their favorite and preferred video platform for live content
  • In Q3 of 2020, YouTube live stream was the leading video platform, grabbing 44 percent of the total live hours watched online

Today, live streaming is one of the leading video marketing trends and a powerful connector that’s more valuable to brands and businesses of all sizes. The introduction of new live-stream platforms and devices, advancement in network technology, and rising audience interest in watching live video content have made it possible for any person to ‘go live,’ from anywhere, anytime.

What’s even more interesting is that anyone, including budding influencers, can set up a YouTube account and make money on the platform. You’ve probably read about young Ryan who made $22million on the platform reviewing and playing around with toys.

And that’s not a preserve of celebrities or leading influencers. Anyone can make money on YouTube, specifically using YouTube live streams. If you want to learn more about how to make money with a YouTube channel, be sure to incorporate livestreams. Here are a few ways you can get paid for YouTube views through real-time video content efforts:

Join the YouTube Partner Program and Earn from Ads

One of the best ways to make money with a YouTube channel is to enable ads. It’s important to note that you must join the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) before you can make money from your YouTube livestream events. To become a YouTube Partner, you are required to have 1,000 subscribers and amass at least 4,000 hours of watch time on your channel in the last 12 months. You can start making money from ads that play during your livestreams once you’ve won your place as a YouTube Partner.

Remember to stream advertiser-friendly video content and adhere to YouTube’s ad rules and policies. Also, keep in mind that AdSense income can be unreliable as you’re paid based on either cost-per-view or cost-per-click. It’s upon the advertiser to choose whichever option they prefer. Moreover, you don’t have control over which advertisers to be associated with as a content creator or influencer. And you earn 55 percent of the revenue generated. Therefore, you should explore other strategies so you can consolidate your earning potential on the platform.

There are three types of ads that can play during your livestream, and you can adjust how ads are displayed in your settings. Pre-roll ads run before your livestream, mid-roll ads run during your livestream, and display and overlay ads run beside or over content (on computers only).

While you can earn money on livestream ads, there are some drawbacks to consider. For instance, you’re limited to one of each ad type per stream. While this may work for shorter livestreams, you might want to optimize your opportunities with more ads if you have a longer stream. In this case, you’d have to break your stream into different sections.

Get Regular Viewer Payments via YouTube’s Channel Membership Program

As a YouTube Partner, you can encourage your fans and viewers to become your YouTube channel members with monthly payments. To be eligible for channel membership, you must have at least 1,000 subscribers. In exchange for channel membership, subscribers get to enjoy members-only exclusives such as badges, custom emojis, and Live Chats with you. Consider making it clear to them what the money from channel memberships support as it can help convince and encourage them to become members.

You can offer several different levels of membership and create perks for each tier. For instance, some channel members might have a loyalty badge appear next to all comments they make on your videos. Other members might have exclusive access to special livestreams. Each level must contain between one and five perks. To better understand how to get paid for YouTube views and launch a channel membership program, check out how Vox and Music Matters set up their membership levels.

Host Live Chats Where Viewers Can Use the “Super Chat” and “Super Stickers” Features

If you’re thinking about how to make money with a YouTube channel and livestream, you can’t leave out Super Chat and Super Stickers. Once you become a YouTube Partner, your viewers can pay to engage more with you and have their comments highlighted in the live chat stream. They can also purchase chat animations, often referred to as Super Stickers. You’ll earn a portion of each purchase.

The Super Chat feature allows viewers to drop in their comments via monetary contributions. In exchange, their comments are highlighted and pinned in the live chat stream for a specific period of time depending on the amount they have paid.

Source: The Verge

Super Chat is a unique feature because it allows super fans and followers to engage with you in unique ways, particularly if you’re hosting a busy livestream with a rolling screen of comments. Paying for a pinned comment allows that comment to get more attention and makes it easier for the host to address it.

But for fans, it’s not just about sending a comment that has a higher chance of getting noticed; it’s also about supporting you. Many fans are happy to support the channels they follow, especially if they can contribute in small monetary ways. For instance, they might not have the funds or desire to purchase a higher-cost product, but if they value the content they produce, they’ll be happy to fork over five dollars for noticeable comment.

You can take the livestream experience a bit further by adding IFTTT (If This, Then That) applets that trigger certain actions during real-time. For example, you can trigger certain actions to happen when a viewer joins as a channel member or a viewer pays a certain amount of money for a super chat.

For example, StreamGeeks held a livestream as they raised money for a local crime victims center and used IFTTT to create fun interactions. Donations of $1 or $2 triggered a blow-up balloon, while a $10 donation triggered a confetti cannon blast.

Sell Branded Merchandise

Most YouTube creators and influencers with a loyal following make money on the platform by selling their merchandise. The good thing is that once you create your own merch and set up an online store, you can tie it with your live stream and make money without having to work actively.

If you don’t have your own store, you can partner with other stores and brands and sell their merchandise on YouTube merch shelf. However, it’s important that you sell merchandise that promotes your personal brand as well. YouTube has made it possible to embed a merchandise box below your video, allowing viewers to browse products during your livestream.

This can be really helpful if you’re talking about specific products during your stream because it offers easy access to those products. This can be a very effective way to drive sales during limited merch drops or when you’re discussing promo codes.

Moving forward, YouTube will continue to optimize merchandise opportunities for their content creators, similar to what other platforms like YouTube and Instagram have achieved.

Start a Paid Membership Program via Third-Party Platforms

Promote third-party platforms to your subscriptions and donations platforms during your livestreams. Third-party platforms like Patreon and Streamlabs allow you to receive tips, donations, and regular payments from your fans and viewers. Streamlabds integrates easily with YouTube and can be a great tool for live streamers looking to not only process their tip donations but also increase viewer engagement.

Patreon, on the other hand, makes the process of getting paid and receiving donations from your viewers more seamless. For as little as two dollars, your viewers can make monthly “pledges” to your channel so they can enjoy some exclusive rewards and get more value from your content.

YouTube live streamers with a large enough following can start earning from Patreon pages in hours. Combine Patreon and Streamlabs with other avenues on this list as supplementary income streams.

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