Instagram has prepared its users for a new change, one that has been anticipated since it was first announced: IGTV advertisements will soon be monetized.
So, what does this mean, exactly? Basically, one just has to think of YouTube and the advertisements before, during, or after certain uploaded videos. That concept will soon apply to Instagram.
Nick Rogers, CEO of Pvsted Media (pronounced ‘Posted’), an Instagram growth and branding marketing agency, summarized this new venture in these words: “If Instagram does it right, the platform will act like YouTube in that creators and brands will be paid for ads being placed on their videos.”
In the beginning of 2020, Instagram started to introduce a tag labeled ‘Branded Content’ in IGTV. This is meant specially for long-format content – and only business or creator accounts which have been deemed eligible by Instagram are able to utilize this added feature.
Instagram’s new testing started out when they added IGTV ads to the videos uploaded by several US-based creators. Eligible creators who can use paid ads on their IGTV videos should at least follow community standards, and their content should be both authentic and catered to an authentic audience.
But those aren’t the only things to tick off one’s list if they want to be a part of this grade nd new plan. The requirements haven’t yet been set in stone. There are other pertinent questions to ask – how many followers would an eligible content creator need? How long would the IGTV videos have to be? These are some of the pertinent questions asked when Facebook determined its monetization eligibility standards. And since Instagram huddles under Facebook’s umbrella, it’s like these are the same questions one would have to ask in the near future, too.
So, Why Bother?
It’s not like Instagram hasn’t been running smoothly all this time. There are plenty of influencers and content creators on the platform. So, why bother taking such a step in this direction in the first place?
What is important to bear in mind here is that, while Instagram is a solid social media platform, other players like TikTok and YouTube still haven’t left the chat, so to speak. Baiting content creators to faithfully use a specific platform works the same way chess does: all it will take are the right moves.
Monetization is a rather strategic chess piece to move. YouTube had already created a revenue-sharing model, working steadily to perfect it over the years. They do this through ads and allowing the revenue to be split between the platform and the content creators. They also offer channel memberships, merchandising, and so on. But as of now, the first option remains the most popular.
And, really: why not? Content creators on YouTube were allowed a solid 55% of the revenue from advertisements, while YouTube managed to sustain the remaining 45%. This was a simple way of keeping the loyalty of content creators whilst still generating a profit from ads.
“The original video content going up across our network not only helps us grow, but we get paid for it. And if it works how Instagram says it will, then we should see a huge boost in revenue as we do hundreds of millions of impressions every month already,” Rogers continued during an interview. “I think that this, along with Instagram introducing the Checkout option for shopping on the platform, will solidify Instagram for the foreseeable future as a cultural hub of entertainment – and also a thriving social media platform. This is because monetizing IGTV actually incentivizes creators to post more videos on the platform that are of the highest quality.”
Brand New Focus, Same Old Vision
This same sentiment was clearly the target of Instagram itself. It shared in a statement: “Now more than ever, it’s vital that creators can use Instagram to grow their personal brand and be able to make a living.”
Indeed, pushing the social media platform to greater heights has never been timelier. With the changes the pandemic has brought about, it should come as no surprise that there’s a rapidly increasing dependence of creators on social media and the internet in general for a new source of income.
Instagram’s COO, Justin Osofsky, further shared Instagram’s plans for the IGTV ad revenue. Creators with this rollout will stand to receive the industry standard of 55% of their share of the advertisement.
Once upon a time, Instagram’s goal was to generate a steady profit from its advertising. And this is still the case. But now, this social media platform has adapted to today’s changes. Its creators have realized that businesses should be given the opportunity to generate revenue from their published content. The monetization of IGTV won’t only draw more content creators to the platform; it’s going to make them stay. And with the inevitable quality control, Instagram will impose, newer, fresher content will be produced.
Instagram’s Call for Creators and Viewers to ‘Come One, Come All’
With Instagram’s decision to monetize IGTV, it’s safe to say that plenty of high-quality content will begin to stream their way.
“As for viewership – it’s really yet to be determined,” Rogers continues to comment on this upcoming change. “It depends entirely on how it looks and feels to the consumer once it’s implemented.”
But it is likely that viewership may increase where the quality of IGTV videos will start to improve. If it worked for YouTube, it should work for Instagram as well. The only catch is that Instagram has yet to polish its plans to monetize ads to perfection.
Until then, the best everyone else can do is to prepare ourselves for a new age of content creation on social media.