On Facebook, live streaming just got taken things a step further: with monetization. Many suspected monetizing virtual events was coming, and it seems to be rapidly arriving on the largest social network. Facebook has come forward with new updates to assert its dominance in this COVID-19 era of online entertainment and relationships.
New Facebook Tools For Virtual Events
On day one of Facebook’s F8 Developer Conference, Mark Zuckerberg (virtually, of course) shared an update about new tools that utilize on-demand video on the platform. First, there’s Messenger Rooms, which are online gathering rooms that seem similar to the Zoom calls with which many of us have grown so familiar. These rooms – rolling out to a some unspecified countries this week – allow for up to virtual events of up to 50 people with no time limit.
Then comes the real fun for live video creators: streaming to event guests directly.
Facebook is adding a feature that allows you to mark events as “online only” and eventually – in the coming weeks – integrate Facebook Live so you can stream to your guests directly. That means no more needing to direct people to another link they’ll have to find buried in the event postings.
Zuckerburg describes how they are working 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” in order “to support creators and small businesses.” With the massive increase of DJs live streaming and the race among so many platforms to become the go-to streaming site, this is a huge step for artists whose pockets are hurting due to lack of touring and gig income.
What virtual DJ sets are worth paying for, really?
But it opens a bigger question, too. Is charging attendees to watch an online video fair? It’s obviously nowhere near the same experience you’d be offering to attend a curated show at a nightclub with full production and a proper sound system, but it’s simultaneously (and understandably) an option for artists who are no longer able to create and/or play at IRL events.
And lastly: being able to charge for an event still doesn’t change the fact that Facebook will regularly kick your stream off due to copyright issues. Our friends at Digital DJ Tips have even seem some initial reports of DJs being restricted from the streaming functionality entirely. How do they expect artists to try out this feature and risk angering attendees who do pay for an event when they’re likely to be cut off?