Facebook will allow artists to charge for access to livestreams

Facebook will soon allow artists to charge fans for access to livestreams hosted through the platform, according to an announcement on its website.

“To support creators and small businesses, we plan 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,” reads the announcement.

The news comes among a slew of other changes the social media giant plans to introduce in response to the coronavirus pandemic. They include bringing back the Live With function to allow multiple people to contribute to a livestream. Facebook also plans to integrate online-only event pages with Facebook Live, allowing hosts to broadcast to virtual attendees.

Facebook is yet to detail the payment structure for monetised livestreams, or when they will be made available to artists. In the announcement, the site says non-profit organisations now have the ability to add a donate button to live videos.

Live-streamed concerts have become an increasingly popular method for artists to stay connected to fans while the coronavirus pandemic forces the postponement or cancellation of many gigs, tours and festivals around the globe. Many artists use Instagram or YouTube for livestreams that have not necessarily been formally monetised.

Some livestream concerts have raised huge sums of money for COVID-19 relief. Recent examples include Post Malone’s Nirvana tribute, which raised more than $2million, and the ‘One World: Together At Home’ concert curated by Lady Gaga, which raised almost $128million.