5 Things to Know About YouTube’s Fan Funding

We've got the essential intel for those ready to enable YouTube's new donation feature.

Photo: Peter Griffin, PublicDomainPictures

As promised by YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki at VidCon in June, Android Police noticed this week that Google’s video giant has begun rolling out their new “Fan Funding” feature. Essentially functioning as an on-site tip jar, Fan Funding aims to provide content creators with revenue opportunities beyond advertising. The move suggests that YouTube is hoping to provide its top contributors with incentive to remain loyal to the platform, while also directing donated dollars through its own channels.

Want to set up funding for your own YouTube channel? Here are five things to keep in mind:

1. It’s not global, yet 
The Fan Funding program is still in beta and currently only available in the U.S., Australia, Japan and Mexico. More countries are rumored to be on the way as the program evolves. For now, interested users must meet a set of eligibility requirements and complete a form to be granted access to the pilot program.

2. This isn’t Kickstarter
According to Marketing Pilgrim, content creators must solicit donations in their own name, not on behalf of a specific project.  Charitable and political donations are also a no-go.

3. YouTube gets a cut
Like most crowdfunding platforms and online payment providers, YouTube takes a 5 percent cut from each donation. There is also a small transaction fee that varies by country.

4. Google also gets the sale
Currently, contributions can only be made with YouTube’s financial sister, Google Wallet. No plans for PayPal or other credit card integration have been announced.

5. A fan can put his money where his mouth is
With each contribution, fans are invited to leave a comment. Comments from donors will be marked with a special icon. This badge of honor might be incentive enough for loyal fans who want some extra visibility in the wilds of YouTube comments.