YouTube has started testing a new integrated payment feature that allows fans to donate to their YouTube channels of choice. Officially dubbed “fan funding”, this new feature is unlikely to replace revenue from advertising for most YouTube channel owners, but it does mark a significant step in YouTube’s ongoing effort to monetize its growing viewership and making its video content shoppable.
Content marketing platform, Contently raised 9 million to empower brands as publishers. The self-service model connects writers with agencies and publishers to produce brand content whether they be white papers, sponsored articles or blog entries. While the industry seems to be shifting towards programmatic, there is also equal interest in custom, native experiences, putting Contently in a sweet spot. The Lab conducted some research on branded content on behalf of Forbes last year that found it to be most successful on publisher sites opposed to the brand’s own channels.
Crowdsourced funding platform, Kickstarter has financed a ton of innovative that have resulted in viable products. Look no further than the Pebble Watch and Oculus Prime to see some examples at CES. This annual recap from the Business Insider provides some of Kickstarter’s highlights from the year.
Pint-Sized Robot ‘Romo’ Rolls From Kickstarter to VCs to Neiman Marcus
Stats: An In-Depth Look At Kickstarter Funding
Andreessen Horowitz Sinks $15 million Into Rap Genius Website
Mobile Payments Provider Square Valued At $1 Billion
Bitly Readies Real-Time Viral Search Engine, Raises $20 Million In New Funding