Introduced in June, Super Hearts are in-app virtual goods that offer a form of virtual tipping.
The idea is similar to Twitch’s or YouTube’s emotes, but instead of custom emoji, Periscope’s version offers fans the option to send different versions of the animated heart icon that can be shared by fans during video broadcasts.
At launch, Periscope offered three kinds of Super Hearts, including cheaper basic hearts covered in plus signs, a sparkly mid-range heart, and more expensive ones that included fans’ faces and that would explode. The program has since added one more heart type, a waving hand. Fans buy virtual coins to pay for Super Hearts through in-app purchases.
When Super Hearts were announced, Periscope said it would pay video creators 70 percent of the cash value for Super Hearts, and retain 30 percent for itself – after first accounting for the 30 percent tax that goes to Apple and Google on in-app transactions, of course.
Today, those payouts are changing.
Now the company says those in its Super Broadcaster program will retain all their earnings, minus a $1 “administration fee,” from the sales of Super Hearts. The $1 fee goes towards continual operation of the Super Hearts feature and will help offset the costs of monthly payment processing, says Periscope. (The company will first pay Apple and Google its 30 percent in-app purchase fee, as before, ahead of the payouts to broadcasters.)
To kick off these new payouts, Periscope is also offering holiday bonuses to broadcasters during the months of November and December which take into account the Super Heart’s coin value. (For every Super Heart a broadcaster receives, its coin value translates to cash they can later withdraw.)
During this month and December, those who earn one million or more stars per month will be offered a $100 bonus. Those who earn 3 million stars or more can earn an additional $250, for a potential total of $350 in bonus money. These bonuses will be calculated based on monthly earnings during the two months only, and will not include any pre-existing star balance.
Not every broadcaster on Periscope can earn money from Super Hearts. The ability to cash out from these rewards is only offered to members of Periscope’s Super Broadcaster program, also introduced earlier this year.
The program, which is only open to U.S. residents, requires broadcasters have at least something of a presence on the platform. They need to have had an active account for 30 days, a minimum star balance of 185,000, and have to have created at least 5 broadcasts in the last month, with an average of 50 live viewers and 75 replay viewers per public broadcast.
With the change in payouts, it appears that Periscope is aiming to boost demand for its Super Hearts program in general, even at the expense of its own revenue. That could be a necessary move on Periscope’s part, not only because Periscope broadcasters haven’t seen Super Hearts as a way to make any serious money on the platform, but also because of the increased competition in live streaming.
Today, Twitch and YouTube, are dominating the live streaming market in terms of both viewers and broadcasters, especially in the esports realm. Twitch in particular has been on a roll as of late with its expanding array of monetization tools, like game sales and added subscription tiers. It also made its revenue-generation tools available to tens of thousands of smaller broadcasters through the Twitch Affiliate program, launched this spring.
That said, a recent report from Streamlabs found that Twitter’s Periscope saw an 80 percent jump in concurrent viewers during Q3 2017, which could indicate the platform is beginning to pick up steam.
Twitter declined to say how many total broadcasters have adopted Super Hearts, or the dollar amount of total sales to date.
“While we can’t provide numbers, we have seen interest from a variety of creators, and the community involved continues to grow,” a spokesperson said.
The new payouts are live now.