Finally, some money will soon start flowing into IGTV creators’ accounts 18 months after launch. The giant photo and video sharing platform is testing an Instagram Partner Program that would let IGTV video creators earn money by showing advertisements along with their videos just like Facebook Watch Videos.
This makes sense
IGTV has been playing second fiddle since it was launched as a long-form video content hub for Instagram. Most of the videos posted on the platform have been cropped from YouTube and are low quality as compared to its rivals like TikTok. Creators have lost interest as there wasn’t enough incentive to post quality content.
Producing content native to IGTV requires a lot of work to shoot vertical videos and the views are discouraging. Top IGTV creators are even finding it hard to garner views – if you scroll through the platform’s first 20 videos, you’ll notice that they have fewer than 200,000 views. Creators with close to 10 million followers have fewer videos that reach 500,000 views.
Another thing was the video content couldn’t be monetized as few brands were yet to start approaching creators for them to make vertical videos exclusive to IGTV.
With all this, Instagram’s standalone IGTV was only downloaded by 7 million out of the 1 billion users Instagram boasts. They even stopped featuring the IGTV button on the homepage of the official Instagram app.
With this new prototype, creators gain a sustainable and hands-off way to generate earnings from IGTV and they might be inspired to bring more and higher quality content to the destination.
How it will presumably work
TechCrunch reports that Instagram’s Partner Program will presumably work just like Facebook Watch. With Facebook Watch, video creators get 55% cut of revenue from Ad Breaks inserted into the middle of their content.
So far, revenue sharing details are lacking but since Facebook tends to run all its ads across all its apps via the same buying interfaces, it might stick with the 55% approach that lets its say creators get the majority of cash earned.
The Facebook-owned platform paid a few celebrities for their IGTV content to offset small production costs. The creators didn’t earn a profit which left to look to sponsored content or product placement to generate cash or to try to redirect their followers to more promising platforms like YouTube.
What to Expect
In screenshots taken by Jane Manchun Wong, this feature shows an “Instagram Partner Program” with “Monetization Tools”.
Instagram will deem users eligible and if you’re among them, you could choose to “Monetize Your IGTV Videos”.
Instagram explains that “You can earn money by running short ads on your IGTV videos. When you monetize on IGTV, you agree to follow the Partner Program Monetization Policies.”
What they’re saying
“We continue to explore ways to help creators monetize with IGTV. We don’t have more details to share now, but we will as they develop further,” Instagram said in a statement.