This week, YouTube revealed its plans to pivot into the NFT space.
In a blog post covering the platform’s 2022 strategy and beyond, Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan noted that web3 opens “new opportunities” for creators. “We believe new technologies like blockchain and NFTs can allow creators to build deeper relationships with their fans. Together, they’ll be able to collaborate on new projects and make money in ways not previously possible,” he explained.
In terms of how YouTubers could leverage NFTs to build said “deeper relationships” with their audience, Mohan said it will give “a verifiable way for fans to own unique videos, photos, art, and even experiences” from their favourite creators. Think— digital tickets to a meet-and-greet, one-of-a-kind videos, and so on.
YouTube’s planned expansion into NFTs is part of a larger strategy that prioritises monestation in a bid to keep creators happy on the platform— a problem the company has struggled with since YouTube’s 2017 “Adpocalypse”.
Following a series of controversial videos by some of the platform’s biggest creators and concerns regarding improper children’s content, advertisers withdrew their spend with YouTube en-masse back in 2017, forcing the company to prioritise family-friendly channels and implement strict monetisation requirements via an opt-in partner program. These changes resulted in a sharp and significant decline in ad revenue for creators across the platform, with many scaling back their content output as they could no longer support themselves as a full-time YouTube creator.
The company has struggled to regain creator trust ever since.
Last year, YouTube rolled out several new monetisation features including YouTube Shorts Fund to reward creators who posted Shorts, Channel Memberships, and Super Chat where a viewer can pay to post a comment at the top of the chat feed.
Mohan also announced gift memberships would be coming in 2022, where users may soon be able to buy Channel Memberships for other viewers during a creator’s live stream.