Facebook is Allowing Entertainers to Charge for Live Streams

Every day, Facebook notifies me of another entertainer going Live.  During the live event, you hear or see various options from animated graphics, songs, and even polite requests for a donation at the end of the live stream performance.  If only there were a way to charge viewers to watch your Facebook page?

“We plan to add the ability for Pages to charge for access to events with Live videos on Facebook”

The above quote is from a Facebook press release, as Facebook page owners will be able to charge for live streaming events in the upcoming months.

It’s not hard to imagine that Facebook engineers have seen an increase in live events, plus the popularity of the Zoom web conferencing.  Facebook sees an opportunity and is moving forward on capturing more of the online streaming market from Zoom and GoToMeeting.

Here is what Facebook Announced

  • We’re bringing back Live with the ability to add another person into your live video, no matter where they are in the world. Bring on a guest speaker, interview an expert, or perform with a friend.
  • You’ll be able to mark Facebook Events as online only and, in the coming weeks, integrate Facebook Live so you can broadcast to your guests. To support creators and small businesses, we plan to add the ability for Pages to charge for access to events with Live videos on Facebook – anything from online performances to classes to professional conferences.
  • To help you raise money for causes, you can now add the donate button to live videos wherever nonprofit fundraisers are available.
  • We’re making it easier to access live video so you can watch or listen anywhere. If you have limited data or a spotty connection, you now have the option to listen to the audio-only. If you don’t have a Facebook account, most public live videos are now available on the web, and some Pages can share a toll-free number that lets you listen to the audio through any telephone.
  • You can live stream games from your phone to Facebook using the new Facebook Gaming app available on Google Play. The app also lets you play games instantly, watch your favorite streamers, and discover new gaming groups. Tournaments are another new feature for game streaming that enables you to create, play, and watch the competition in one spot. Tournaments are available on Facebook today and coming to the Facebook Gaming app soon.
  • To help you support some of your favorite creators, we’re expanding Stars to more Pages and more countries. Once you buy Stars, you can send them to creators while they’re streaming, and they’ll earn 1 cent for every Star.

Facebook announced April 26th highlights a new product called Message Rooms.  My first impression is Zoom on Facebook. A Facebook Messager Room is created from inside Messenger or Facebook and allows you to invite anyone to join your video call, even if they don’t have a Facebook account. Rooms will soon hold up to 50 people with no time limit.

Entertainers worldwide have been removing events from their show calendar as the Covid-19 pandemic reels its ugly head across society.  Social distancing makes it nearly impossible for an entertainer whose main goal is to gather large crowds.  There might be an opportunity for that entertainer willing to go live and charge an audience for watching a show.

Typical chatter in the entertainment field has gone from learning a new routine to a conversation on setting up a virtual show. Library, Park Districts, and parents are desperately trying to figure out how to stay connected with their community, family, and friends.

The talk on the Facebook groups is all about cost, licensing rights, recorded vs. live, and both the entertainer and clients struggle with the same question as to which to serve their community better.

2020 is the year of uncertainty as entertainers struggle to figure how to revamp a show, build a virtual studio, and pay their bills, all while stressed about family, friends, the audience, and colleagues being subjected to the COVID-19 virus.

Do you see this as an opportunity to save your entertainment business?  Please drop me a comment below.

Leave a Comment