YouTube Launches Donation Feature For Independent Content Creators

Google-owned video-streaming site YouTube has launched a new feature that allows users to donate money to independent content creators, Android Police reported.

The new feature is currently available in selected countries such as the United States, Mexico, Japan and Australia. But as the tech site noted, YouTube's donation program will expand to other locations in the near future.

For indie content producers, this new feature allows them to ask for financial support from their loyal viewers and subscribers.

Those who adopt this feature on their YouTube accounts will have a small icon on the top left side of their videos. If a user hovers the cursor over the icon, a pop-up message or banner will appear which will tell them how they can donate, according to ZDNet.

The users have the option to donate whatever amount they wish to. However, YouTube will take a small portion of the donation as a form of transaction fee.

YouTube's cut varies according to the location but in the U.S., five percent of the donation goes to the site in addition to the transaction fee of 21 cents.

YouTube's fan-based donation feature is not only limited to PC users. Android users with the YouTube app can also donate to their favorite video makers, ATB Media reported.

Aside from the donation feature, the popular video-streaming site recently unveiled a plan to charge viewers who would like to watch music videos without advertisements.

Currently, music labels that upload videos earn through the ads on YouTube. Under the proposed subscription plan, both the site and record labels will receive portions from the viewers' payments.

Although this may seem beneficial to major corporations, independent record companies are not happy with the deal YouTube has given them.

According to American Association of Independent Music president Rich Bengloff, indie companies will receive a smaller percentage from the subscription plan as compared to what major corporations will earn.

"It's awful that indies are being treated as second-class citizens by YouTube," Bengloff said.     

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