Dear YouNow community,
My name is Adi and I am the CEO of YouNow. Yesterday, we soft launched our premium goods, enabling users, who wish to do so, to purchase premium functionalities: a. the ability to further promote broadcasters and b. highlight communication with broadcasters during a live broadcast.
We are delighted to see the adoption of the new premium goods and plan to listen to the community (you), as we move forward with the rollout.
The introduction of premium goods comes after over 2 years of planning and white-boarding different revenue options. I’m happy to use this opportunity to share with you our thought process and how we got here.
1. No Advertising: High level, there are 2 main revenue opportunities for YouNow at this time: advertising and premium goods. When evaluating advertising, we quickly realized that any pre-roll or in-stream video degrades the user experience and takes attention from the content and the experience we worked so hard to enable. (As for display advertising (banners) it takes up critical real estate on the mobile apps, and generates very little revenues – making it a ‘lose lose’ proposition). So despite the temptation to make a quick buck, we said no to advertising.
2. Premium goods: An integrated business model: we were keen to find a revenue opportunity that provides value not just to us, but to our users as well, improving the user experience, and becoming an organic part of it, rather than a separate layer on top of it. As such, what guided us was:
- That spending $ on goods is optional. The existing experience for users who do not pay does not materially change.
- Provide value to the users who choose to purchase the goods.
- And most importantly, offer a revenue opportunity to our content creators, the talented broadcasters on YouNow.
3. Revenue for broadcasters: We want our most talented broadcasters to be able to earn. Over the next few weeks, we will slowly but surely enable certain broadcasters to share a portion of the revenue generated during their broadcast.
(We will initially, during the first phase of beta testing, hand pick these broadcasters to test the system and work out the bugs and kinks.)
Following the beta phase, we plan to roll out the YouNow Partner Program to a wider group of broadcasters. Note that the partner program, much like YouTube’s and Twitch’s programs, will never be open to everyone. We will admit people into the program based on their performance and talent.
Running a global service like YouNow costs millions of dollars per year. We are super excited to be testing and rolling out these new features that would enable us to grow the service and support our most talented content creators.
I appreciate your ongoing support and welcome your participation in the discussion right here in the comments section of the blog, where we will be happy to respond and continue the dialogue.