Musicians can now charge for live-streamed shows on Facebook

The platform’s paid online events function is now live in 20 countries

Musicians will now be able to charge punters for access to virtual gigs and livestreams on Facebook with the platform’s new paid online events function.

The new functionality went live a few days ago, allowing businesses, creators, educators and media publishers to charge entry to their virtual events. Facebook pages looking to host paid online events must comply with Facebook’s monetisation policies to access the function, which is available in 20 countries including the UK, the US and Australia.

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Fidji Simo, Head of Facebook App, wrote in a Facebook Newsroom blog post that the company would not be taking a cut of revenue from paid online access events for “at least the next year”, to support small businesses and creators.

“For transactions on the web, and on Android in countries where we have rolled out Facebook Pay, small businesses will keep 100 per cent of the revenue they generate from paid online events,” she wrote.

Simo added that this only applies to purchases made through the Facebook Pay system, stating that Apple had denied the company’s request to waive its 30 per cent tax cut.

“We asked Apple to reduce its 30 per cent App Store tax or allow us to offer Facebook Pay so we could absorb all costs for businesses struggling during COVID-19,” she said.

“Unfortunately, they dismissed both our requests and SMBs will only be paid 70 per cent of their hard-earned revenue.”

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Simo also revealed the company are testing “paid events with Messenger Rooms for more personal and interactive gatherings”.

Facebook first announced the paid online events update through a statement on its website in April.

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