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YouTube debuts Fan Funding so we can tip our favourite video channels

There are people making a living via their YouTube channels. Well, a lot more than a living actually. Twenty-four-year-old Felix Kjellberg, for instance, is running a video channel under the name PewDiePie. He clocks in an estimated monthly revenue of US$140 000 to US$1.4-million depending on the viewership. These figures, however, are all based on pesky ads.

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In a move that will hopefully curb the prominence of pre-roll ads and pop-up banners, YouTube recently launched its Fan Funding feature, which provides the option for viewers to donate to their preferred video channel.

While it’s currently only live in a handful of countries like Australia, Japan, Mexico, and the US, the feature will be rolling out to other countries “as soon as possible”. It’s active on the website and the Android app.

Fan Funding is made to be as simple as possible. Video bloggers have the option to enable the button or card, which would then hover at the top of their YouTube clips.

youtube fan funding example
With Google Wallet integration, the audience can then click on the button, specify the amount and select Pay. Interestingly, users can also choose to comment when they make their donation. While the amount won’t be displayed, the user’s comment will have a special badge next to it to let people know you gave your support.

The world’s most popular video archive isn’t just doing this out of the kindness of its heart. The Google-owned giant takes a fee to cover the transaction costs, which differ depending on the region:

Australia
AUD $0.23 + 5%
Japan
JPY ¥22 + 5%
Mexico
MXN $2.70 + 5%
United States
USD $0.21 + 5%

For example, let’s say you made a voluntary payment in the US of US$10, the video creator will get US$9.29. YouTube has dibs on US$0.71. Of course, you’ll have to have signed up for Google Wallet in order to use the service.

It will be interesting seeing how this feature changes the way people present their videos. With a well-thought-out pitch or campaign, online video personalities can essentially create their own crwodfunding campaigns. After all, successful YouTube channels rely on their massive communities. PewDiePie, for instance, has over 30 million subscribers. If only a third of them decide to give one dollar each, well, you do the math…