Zuckerberg: Facebook May Share Live Video Revenue With Broadcasters

Mark Zuckerberg
Joan Cros/NurPhoto/REX/Shutterstock

Facebook is looking to share revenue generated from live video streams with broadcasters, CEO Mark Zuckerberg suggested during a Facebook Live stream Wednesday. “Over time, we want to make it so that this can grow into a sustainable way that a lot of independent artists can make a living and can make money as well,” Zuckerberg said.

Zuckerberg made these comments in response to a question on how Facebook Live will change how comedians and musicians will use the platform. He didn’t go into details about monetization models, and instead just said that there would be “clean ways” to enable monetization.

Advertising is an obvious fit for the company, but one could theoretically also imagine premium live streams. “We will work on some of these business model pieces over the coming months,” Zuckerberg said.

Facebook launched a number of new features for Live on Wednesday, including new filters for broadcasters and real-time feedback for viewers. However, the most consequential new feature is likely a new video tab within the Facebook mobile app, which makes it much easier for users to discover live broadcasts or start to broadcast themselves.

Facebook already started to pay some creators for the use of Live, with the company’s VP of partnerships Dan Rose telling Variety last month that the company had identified a small number of people who can bring new audiences to the platform.  “It’s not going to be huge amounts of money,” he said.

However, Facebook may also have to work on some more basic issues before it starts to launch into monetization of Live. Wednesday’s Q&A session with Zuckerberg was a reminder that live streaming is still a new medium for the company. The CEO’s Live stream initially launched with a false start, only to resume 30 minutes later with frequent buffering as up to 300,00 viewers tuned in.