YouTube’s sponsorship expansion represents a significant step for YouTube Gaming. Placing it in direct competition with leading gaming site, Twitch, the YouTube Gaming sponsorship program, which allows fans to sponsor their favorite creators, is likely to encourage influencers and their fans to use the platform more.
The sponsorship program may serve to boost YouTube’s presence in the livestreaming space, helping it keep up with other popular livestreaming platforms such as Twitch and Facebook.
YouTube is now offering its audience an option to sponsor livestreaming gamers on its YouTube Gaming platform. The new sponsorship program enables gaming streamers to be directly compensated and rewarded by their audience.
Fans can sponsor their favorite creator by contributing $5 a month. A fan that becomes a sponsor will receive exclusive benefits including:
Additionally, new sponsors will be displayed on top of chat for two to three minutes so that everyone watching the livestream can see the sponsor’s name. After that, the user will be identifiable as a sponsor in the live chat through their sponsorship badge.
Oftentimes, a channel owner will thank sponsors and give them a shout-out during a stream. Acknowledgement from content creators as well as recognition from other viewers may encourage viewers to become a sponsor.
Streamers must be over 18 years old to participate and must have at least 1,000 subscribers.
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Sponsorship options in YouTube Gaming come in the wake of major success from other influencer-generated revenue programs such as YouTube Red and Super Chat.
YouTube has a financial incentive to allow direct viewer sponsorships. Furthermore, YouTube’s move is a way to incentive top digital streamers and influencers to use its overshadowed gaming platform and to encourage aspiring streamers to create content.
Rather than waiting for brand sponsorships or waiting to hit a massive number of followers to generate ad revenue on YouTube, streamers can start making money immediately. Streamers who have sponsors or are looking for sponsors will also be more willing to engage with their fans, further enhancing user experience.
Though livestreaming on social media is still relatively new, it holds massive potential for the entire marketing industry. Currently, brands are marketing on social media through native platform options, such as mid-roll ads or banner ads, or they are partnering with well-established influencers to present their products.
YouTube Gaming sponsorships present a potential new way for marketers to reach audiences. For $5 each, brands can sponsor many influencers and participate in all of the corresponding live chats. This could pave the way for brands to market through engagement in livestream chats engaging directly with diehard audiences of each sponsored influencer.
By leveraging live chats, brands can participate in online discussions with the consumers it wants to reach. This strategy can be combined with traditional influencer marketing partnerships with top livestreamers.
Additionally, sponsors on a channel are essentially a guaranteed audience for content creators. Brands can use YouTube Gaming sponsorships as a metric to determine the level of loyalty fans have to content creators. From there, marketers can differentiate and choose between influencers and audiences. YouTube Gaming sponsorships may also serve to validate an influencer’s followers.