Yandex.Money enters streaming donations market via Ya.Stream — a good sign for the market
Yandex.Money, a subsidiary of Russian internet company Yandex, has partnered with Donate.Stream, a Perm based startup, to launch a new service for streamers donations. The service branded as Ya.Streamer claims to support several streaming platforms including Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, VK.com and Odnoklassniki.
Interactive notification widgets with puppies and kittens are not something to draw users’ attention but lower commissions probably are: Yandex will charge 0.5% for a donation from Yandex.Money wallet and 2.5% for those made from banking cards.
Tachat Igityan, DeStream Founder & CFO, believes that Yandex’ move is a good sign for the market. “Yandex is known for its comprehensive understanding of digital trends and industry numbers due to an enormous amount of data they possess, and their attention to streaming market donations is a seal of maturity for one,” he says.
It may seem that Yandex.Money offer is dumping on commissions, however, this may not be the case, Tachat adds. Existing opportunities like Donation Alerts charge 5–7%, and Yandex.Money beats its rivals here. However, Ya.Streamer doesn’t support PayPal, a system that covers over 50% of the market globally and holds a lion’s share of the Russian donations industry as well.
If we dig deeper, more nuances come to the surface: donations are processed by banking card operators with 6051 MCC (Merchant Category Code), and those are treated as quasi-cash moves, thus, penalized heavily when credit (not debit) cards are used. This limits Yandex.Money chances to acquire US and European customers who mostly use a credit card in their online activities. The company will most likely focus on Russian and CIS users at this stage.
There is more to discuss as regards to Yandex.Money wallet: it charges 1% for any deposits below ₽4,000 (€56), and our research shows that average donation in Russia stands at ₽100 (Yandex estimates it to be close to ₽300 but this doesn’t change the picture much). Withdrawals aren’t free as well: streamer will spend 3% to send its money to a banking card and may face ATM fees on top of that.
This brings us to a conclusion. DeStream is on the right track, and our intention to create an integrated system for streamers, contributors and advertisers will come as a solution for this lucrative but still very poorly structured market.
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