01
Sep
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YouTube thrives off the videos produced by independent content creators all over the world, and while it compensates many of them through ads, that money is hardly enough to make a living off of in most cases. Earlier this summer Google said that producers would soon have the option to request donations right on their YouTube pages. The feature's live now, so here's a look at how it works.

When you're watching something produced by someone who's willing to accept donations, an icon will appear in the top left corner of the video. In some cases, hovering over that icon will reveal a banner with the option to support to current channel.

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In other cases, clicking on the item will bring up a pop-up message on top of the video. Interacting with this message will pull up a window where you can decide how much money you wish to donate.

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Fan funding isn't confined to the browser, as it also works within the YouTube Android app.

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If you do offer up a donation, YouTube will take a small cut to handle the transaction. Just how much the company takes varies by country. In the US, it keeps 5% plus 21 cents. In Japan, it's 5% plus ¥22.

So if an American makes a donation of $10, YouTube will pocket 71 cents of that for its effort. Fortunately, the vast majority goes straight to the content creator. Donations are processed using Google Wallet.

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For now, fan funding is only supported in Australia, Japan, Mexico, and the US. Naturally, Google is working to bring the option to more countries somewhere down the road. People living in one of these four can start taking advantage of the feature right away within a browser or version 5.7 and higher of the YouTube Android app. Support for other platforms is also in the works.

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Android Crook

    Donate to a gamer LOL

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Or a news organization. Or your favorite reviewer.

      • My name is….

        I think that our favorite reviewers dont actually need donating

        • Romdude

          I wouldn't mind donating to my favorite new bands though apart from just buying their albums.

      • Jays2Kings

        I see what you're getting at, and you know what, Ron & Ars Technica does deserve a donation :P

      • Android Crook

        None of them actually deserve it. "Donate" meaning give money to a cause. I don't think anyone on YouTube is chaining lives except for maybe the Khan Academy and a few other charities that I am not aware of. Reviewers are a dime a dozen an can be replaced by someone who wants to do it for free, likewise with news. It's like that stupid donate button on Twitch.

        • emperor43

          "Donate" means supporting someone or something, it doesn't have to be a charity. Nobody is supposed to donate to everyone that makes/gives something away for free but if someone values that free service/product and want to show their appreciation why shouldn't they do that ? Something being free doesn't mean it's also quality and to produce quality you need talent and resources : 1 that talent could have been invested in some different workplace that payed better but maybe wouldn't bring the producer that much enjoyment and small donations help shorten that income difference, 2 why not share the risk, by sharing the cost of a project with the producer, and then also share the success by enjoying a higher quality service/product?

        • Ezzy

          I guess you pretty much Torrent everything you consume, too? Just a wild guess.

        • Matthew Fry

          How significant does the change need to be for it to be worth becoming a patron (the more correct term for what this is)? Entertainment has worth.

  • Andrew

    Sounds eerily similar to what Twitch have in place. I suspect Google may implement their own live streaming service for small-time content makers for people to donate/subscribe to.

    • AbbyZFresh

      YouTube already has a live streaming service. Especially for major news events. It's just underused by many content creators compared to Twitch.

    • Roger Siegenthaler

      well if this would get rid of ads on a creator's page that would be cool :D

    • Ezzy

      Lots of podcasts use Youtube's live streaming service (Hangouts).

  • Fabian Pineda

    I can already see the "Support me!" pop ups, a la "suscribe", pestering me each time I watch a clip...

    • Amit_N

      I can already see opportunity for update of Adblock for Chrome , Firefox and YouTube Adaway Xposed module :P

  • https://twitter.com/Caneschii Guilherme Caneschi

    It's really good, maybe more people will be able to make a living and we'll see even more good videos

  • Anonymous

    I hope fan funding will support Canada and UK as well soon.

  • fikus011

    This is Google's way of saying "Go suck a lolly Patreon" :D ,as someone said in the comments ,all I expect to see now is "If you liked my video give it a thumbs up and hit that DONATE button right bellow the LIKE button.
    Anyhow...a lot of buttons to hit if you like the video :D
    Jokes aside,it's a good thing Google is giving some Youtubers more ways to earn some money.Thumbs up for Google ;)

  • AbbyZFresh

    So Google has a heart after all the mess up of YouTube they've been doing.

    And clever use of Google Wallet to process the transaction. Another way to suck you into the ecosystem.

    • PhilNelwyn

      Yeah, how dare they try to make their services work together and to retain customers?

  • chokkan

    Does Patreon take a cut as well? Anyway, seems like a good idea to me. The least I can do for many of the people whose videos I watch is to throw ¥200 their way.

    As for people 'pestering' for donations, most quality content creators understand that that isn't the way to encourage people to support you. A 3 second pop-up during the video doesn't bother me in the slightest. If I want to click the like or the donate button, I will do so.

    • Matthew Fry

      2.1% + $0.30. Sounds like it's still a better deal for everyone to use Patreon. I guess Google is banking on the IAP 'least hurdles to pay' model.

      • http://tonybullard.com/ Tony Bullard

        Patreon also focuses on recurring payments. This looks like a 1 shot deal.

  • Welfi_1988

    Why is neither monetizing nor any other useful feature available in Luxembourg? I mean it wirks in France, Germany, Belgium,... whole EU except for Luxembourg!?

    • av

      Your fault for being a tiny country that no one can find on a map.

      • Welfi_1988

        That's rude! But true..;) Although still no explanation as to why they are so slow offering google services here, couldn't they just copy, paste it from germany or france or uk or whatever...?

        • Person chap

          You are like a rare gremlin. I never found a guy from Luxbrg on my travels!

          • Welfi_1988

            Haha! :) Maybe because we are only about 600K... ;) Have you found it on the map yet? ;)

          • Person chap

            It must be tough being from a country no one cares much about. You could go to Germany or France or Belgium. You mean to tell me your country people don't travel?!

          • Welfi_1988

            Yes we do travel, but since there are not many of us I meant it is more difficult to meet someone from Luxembourg than for example 1 of 80 million Germans.
            Problem is, we have some good laws here, social security cotisations, taxes, etc. are quite low in comparision with the surrounding countries ;) That's why we have a lot of french, belgian an d german people working here.

        • KojiroAK

          Laws, offering a paid service in a different country means also to have to deal with the laws there.
          And to even check the laws and how you can comply with them (or get around) is an effort that has to be made.
          To get the service working for a country pretty sure is only a checkbox in a software or something like that, but the whole juristic stuff is what takes time.

          • Welfi_1988

            Yeah... and then our market is not big enough for the effort...=/
            At least we are getting Netflix this month.. :)

        • Ezzy

          Places like Finland still have byzantine crowd-funding laws. They just made them worse recently. We can never have anything fun or innovative.

      • Person chap

        You must be American. You guys never could read maps. But good point about the size. Hey, citizens don't have to go far to get out of the country. They can even walk!!

    • Person chap

      Maybe it's that differen smelling Euro that you guys use! ;)
      Hey cheer up. Being from Luxembourg gets you a really cheap visa to India. But from my country I have to pay an absurd price.

      • Welfi_1988

        Good thing I travel to India so often... ;P

    • Calvin Uijlen

      You should never have left The Kingdom of The Netherlands..

  • mark

    I wish they'd do this for Google Play - currently the only way to do donations is with a paid app (or IAP), which is a bit more limited, plus Google takes a whopping 30% cut.

    I'm not convinced it will let people make more money than advertising though. Most people will take stuff for free.

    • EowynCarter

      I'll rather pay than have ads personally.

      Apps with ads get quickly un-installed from my phone. Or switched to premium version if i fell it's worth it.

  • lensgrabber

    Just put a bitcoin donate QR at the start and end of your video and skip that 5%

  • Alex Genadinik

    How do you enable this? I can't seem to figure out how to enable that on my channel. Thank you!

    • tobiasg1

      I am looking too - are you in one of the supported countries? Let me know if you figure it out. Thanks!

    • tobiasg1

      Actually just found this A YouTube spokesperson told TNW that “there are a handful of creators testing it out at the moment, and the plan is to bring this to more creators and countries in the future.”

      and this page is helpful https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/6066530

  • http://youtube.com/2Bunny2012 Channel 2012

    Just one more thing for content creators to drone on about at the end of their videos.

  • http://tonybullard.com/ Tony Bullard

    The only thing I don't like about this is that it is ANOTHER icon over the video. It's getting ridiculous. Especially on mobile, there's already 5 icons over the top of the video. This will make 6. It's just getting too damn cluttered.

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