Facebook asked Apple to waive its 30% App Store tax for the online events, but was denied.
Facebook is rolling out a new feature allowing small businesses to charge for access to online events held on the social media platform, the company announced over the weekend, offering the music industry a potential new way to monetize virtual performances.
The feature, which is available in 20 countries including the U.S., is designed to allow business to create an online event, set a price, promote it, collect payment and host the event all in one place. In testing, Facebook says that businesses have hosted everything from panel talks to podcast recordings, cooking classes and intimate meet-and-greets, and ostensibly the feature could be used for live music performances as well.
"With social distancing mandates still in place, many businesses and creators are bringing their events and services online to connect with existing customers and reach new ones," Facebook App head Fidji Simo writes in a blog post announcement. "By combining marketing, payment and live video, paid online events meet the end-to-end needs of businesses."