We haven’t written about this much, because musicians couldn’t use it, but Facebook has had its own livestream monetisation system of ‘stars’ running for a while now. It’s akin to Twitch’s bits and cheers and YouTube’s Super Chat, in that viewers can spend money on virtual items, with the streamer who they’re watching getting a share of the loot.
Anyway, we’re writing about stars now because musicians CAN use it: Facebook is rolling the feature out to musicians and cultural institutions as part of some wider changes being made to its live-video broadcasting platform. People will be able to watch Facebook Live streams now even if they don’t have a Facebook account, and they’ll be able to use an audio-only option if their bandwidth is too challenged for video. It’s also launching some tools to help new streamers get up and running. But it’s the fact that musicians will be able to more easily make money from their streams that’s most useful. Perhaps YouTube’s Super Chat will follow suit?