Report: Facebook Live Spending Millions to Entice YouTube Stars

By Features PCmag

Facebook really wants you to watch live video on its platform, so it's enlisting the help of your favorite YouTube stars and enticing them with cold hard cash.

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According to The Wall Street Journal, Facebook will shell out about $2.2 million over the next several months to lure YouTube and Vine stars to its Live platform. Case in point: Facebook is paying Vine celeb Jon Paul Piques, who earned fame on Twitter's 6-secind video platform for his humorous and sometimes raunchy videos, some $119,000 to use Live at least five times a month through September, according to the report.

He's one of almost two dozen "YouTube creators, Vine stars, and internet personalities" on Facebook's payroll, the Journal reports. The list also includes Ray William Johnson, famous for his "The Equals Three Show" on YouTube (which is on "summer break" at the moment), who will make about $224,000 during 5.5 months for his efforts on Facebook Live.

In a statement to the Journal, Facebook's Vice President of global operations and media partnerships, Justin Osofsky, said the company hasn't specifically hatched some sort of "acquisition strategy to go after Vine and YouTube stars," but is just seeking to "encourage experimentation" on Facebook Live.

Meanwhile, the money going to these Internet celebs is just a fraction of what Facebook has budgeted to make Live a success. The Journal says the company has committed to pay 140 media companies and celebrities more than $50 million to create Live videos. Most of that money will go to media companies like BuzzFeed and New York Times Co.

For those of you already on Facebook Live, catch PCMag's live show, Random Access, every morning at 10 a.m. ET via Facebook.com/PCMag. This morning's episode is embedded below.

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