In the days leading up to last month’s VidCon, Facebook hosted its first “Creator Day,” during which it announced a series of new tools to help video aficionados monetize their content. One of the new updates includes enhancements to Facebook Fan Subscriptions. In addition to new offerings for Fan Subscriptions, influencers, artists and content curators should take note of Facebook’s amendment to its terms of service. According to a report acquired by TechCrunch, the Facebook Fan Subscriptions policy update notes the social media giant can collect a 30% fee from video content revenue.
What Are Facebook Fan Subscriptions?
Facebook first introduced Fan Subscriptions in early 2018. According to Facebook’s website, Fan Subscriptions “allow dedicated audiences to support the pages they love with monthly, recurring payments.” Facebook pages can charge their fans a fixed price of $4.99 per month to access content and other supporter benefits, as defined by the pages, that are not offered to non-subscribers. Per Facebook’s FAQs, supporter benefits must include at least one of the following: exclusive content, supporter-only Q&As or polls, behind-the-scenes/day-in-the-life access, live videos or premium discounts. Paying fans of Fan Subscription pages also receive badges from Facebook to add to their profiles.
Marketers cannot elect to become eligible for Fan Subscriptions without receiving a direct invitation from Facebook. Only certain pages in specific regions are approved to be considered for Fan Subscriptions. Facebook does not provide specific details that define what qualities guarantee a page’s eligibility for Fan Subscriptions.
When Will Facebook Begin Collecting Revenue Share From Fan Subscription Pages?
Facebook is slated to begin collecting a 30% revenue share from Fan Subscriptions on January 1, 2020. Facebook will not collect a revenue share from any Fan Subscriptions that originated prior to January 1, 2020. In addition to the 30% share, Facebook will also charge a content creator taxes and platform fees.
How Does Facebook’s Revenue Share Stack Up Against Its Competition?
During the initial testing period, after Facebook Fan Subscriptions launched in 2018, Facebook did not collect any revenue share fees from content creators. With its updated policy, it costs more for creators to publish content on Facebook than YouTube. YouTube charges its content creators a 30% revenue share, but YouTube does not charge taxes or administrative fees on top of the revenue share. Comparatively, Amazon Twitch is at the highest end of the spectrum and collects 50% from its content creators, while Patreon, a crowd-funded membership platform launched in 2013 on which creators publish content for paying subscribers, is at the lowest end, collecting only 12%.
According to Facebook’s Fan Subscriptions Creator Terms, Facebook can terminate and/or suspend a page’s Fan Subscriptions at any time. The agreement for fan subscribers also notes that Facebook will have a lifetime license to a creator’s work, even after a page is no longer participating with Fan Subscriptions. Conversely, YouTube’s terms of service explain that a creator retains ownership of their content, and termination of video content also ends YouTube’s license to use, repurpose or promote the content.
What Does The Update To Facebook Subscriptions Mean For Digital Marketers?
Facebook’s latest updates to Fan Subscriptions reinforces its commitment to growing premium content offerings, especially in the form of video content. If your brand has identified an interest in weaving influencer marketing partnerships into your strategy, the recent Facebook update can help you identify influencers with dedicated followings. If a consumer is so highly engaged with a creator’s content that they are willing to pay for a subscription, it is likely they will visit the influencer’s page more often and could be more open to their product and service recommendations. Identifying a page as a Fan Subscriptions page may clarify the understanding of follower loyalty and engagement.
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