YouTube introduced their new Super Chat feature earlier this month, allowing creators to earn additional revenue while live streaming. Fans can purchase higher-visibility chat messages in exchange for real money, a portion of which is given to the streamer. The new feature is replacing YouTube’s old Fan Funding program, which has been around since 2014.
Starting today, any eligible channel with over 1,000 subscribers can opt-in to Super Chat. According to the terms, creators will pocket 70% of the “suggested retail price” (the amount contributed) of the funds donated.
Except as otherwise agreed to in this Addendum and subject to Sections 5.1(c), 5.4 and 5.5 below, Google will pay to Provider an amount equal to 70% multiplied by the greater of: (A) Commerce Revenues, or (B) the Suggested Retail Price for the relevant Commerce Content (if applicable). Google will retain the remainder.
This new agreement gives creators significantly less share than Fan Funding. In the United States, creators received all of the money donated from Fan Funding, less 5% + $0.21 to “cover the cost of processing the transaction.”
Here is a full copy of the old Fan Funding fee chart:
If a fan makes a $10 contribution from the United States, the creator would have received $9.29 from Fan Funding, as opposed to $7 from Super Chat.
While 70% is significantly lower than the generous Fan Funding program was, it is right on par with other live streaming platforms. According to The Huffington Post, Twitch offers a base 50/50 split for their subscriber feature, which can increase to 60/40 as partners build their audience. From Twitch Bits, partners can pocket value anywhere from 70% to 80% of the money spent by viewers.
Because of the fast-paced nature of Super Chat, fans are likely to spend much more than they ever would have using Fan Funding. If creators have a large live streaming audience, Super Chat may prove to be a valuable revenue stream.
Benefits and Incentives
Fans that contribute higher amounts of money will have more visible messages. In the United States, messages will follow this schedule:
To see incentives for your region, check out this Help Center article.
Allowing viewers to purchase higher visibility for their chat messages comes with an added risk of spam and abuse. Super Chat messages will still be subject to moderation, including a streamer’s list of blocked words & users. Chat moderators can remove Super Chat messages just like any other live chat messages.
During streams, messages can be moderated from either the live event page or the live dashboard. When offline, all Super Chat purchases from the past 30 days can be viewed from your Creator Studio by going to Community -> Super Chat.
Super Chat revenue will be paid out using Google AdSense, following the same payment schedule as other ad revenue. Partners of multi-channel networks will need to have the feature enabled by their network. Revenue is reported in the Transaction Revenue Report within YouTube Analytics.
Sending a Super Chat is available from YouTube and YouTube Gaming on the web, and from YouTube’s Android app. Purchases on iOS are not currently supported.
To receive Super Chats, you must be at least 18 years of age, have over 1,000 subscribers, be monetized and eligible for live streaming, and be located within one of the 21 supported countries:
- Hong Kong (available by February 7)
- Italy (available by February 7)
- New Zealand (available by February 7)
- Philippines (available by February 7)
- Poland (available by February 7)
- Portugal (available by February 7)
- South Korea
- Sweden (available by February 7)
- Taiwan (available by February 7)
- Uganda (available by February 7)
- United Kingdom
- United States
You can check your eligibility and enable the feature at https://youtube.com/features.