I think it’s safe to say that YouTube has the best monetization program among its rivals. I mean this is definitely not a hot take.
The reason why YouTube is a step up from the competition is not only due to the overall better compensation deal but also the variety it offers with different monetization options.
Just recently, Pokimane, a popular streamer, decided to move away from Twitch, where she built her brand and was contracted to stream exclusively on the platform, and decided to host her first stream on YouTube. This move comes after many Twitch policy controversies and creators’ pay cuts.
One of the many ways creators can make money on YouTube, especially streamers, is YouTube Members. Today, we will explore this lucrative and often-forgotten YouTube feature.
What are YouTube Channel Memberships?
A YouTube channel membership serves as a distinctive platform feature designed to cultivate strong support from your most dedicated fans through a paid subscription model.
By introducing memberships, creators have the opportunity to establish multiple tiers, each offering exclusive perks to subscribing members. These perks often include custom emojis, badges, access to live streams, special member-only chats, and exclusive bonus content.
Each tier may boast a unique combination of these perks, creating a tiered system that caters to various levels of fan engagement.
This approach is particularly suited to creators who already possess a substantial following on YouTube. The success of channel memberships relies on the loyalty of your dedicated fanbase to subscribe in exchange for these exclusive perks.
This YouTube model empowers creators to monetize their content directly but also fosters a sense of community and exclusivity among your most fierce supporters.
How Do YouTube Sponsorships and Memberships Differ?
Some often get confused between YouTube sponsorships and YouTube memberships. In fact, YouTube Sponsorships transformed to the now-familiar term "Memberships" around mid-2018 when the feature expanded its availability to a broader user base.
Originally introduced as YouTube Sponsorships, the shift coincided with the platform's effort to make this feature more accessible and widely used by YouTube viewers worldwide.
This change was also reflected in the evolution of the functionality and scope of the feature. The renaming to "Memberships" aimed to provide a clearer understanding of the offering, emphasizing the creation of a membership-based relationship between content creators and their dedicated subscribers.
As part of this rebranding, Memberships on YouTube took on a more comprehensive role, adding a tiered system with diverse subscription levels, each offering a unique set of perks and exclusive content.
How YouTube Channel Memberships Work?
The process of creating channel memberships on your YouTube account is straightforward. YouTube allows you to create up to five tiers, providing you with the flexibility to tailor your membership structure to meet the preferences of your audience and also the overall atmosphere of your brand.
You will have the creative freedom to choose unique names, descriptions, and price points for each tier. This customization process enables you to align your offerings with the value you provide and the expectations of your audience. This also allows you to craft a membership experience that resonates with your community.
For Instance, Emily D. Baker, former prosecutor, legal commentator, and YouTube streamer with more than 740k subscribers, has four different membership tiers and a pack of legal and community-based emojis that members can use in the chat. She also offers members-only live streams as an added bonus.
When it comes to memberships, you can incorporate different elements that will increase the appeal and exclusivity of your subscription. You can add:
Exclusive video content can be a compelling incentive for members, providing them with access to content that is not available to the general audience.
2. Live Chats
Members can enjoy special privileges during live chat sessions, standing out and engaging more during live interactions.
3. Custom Emojis
Introduce custom emojis that are exclusive to your members and related to your brand and online community.
4. Custom Badges
Members can showcase unique badges next to their names, displaying their level of support and loyalty.
5. Live Streams
Offer members exclusive access to live streams, creating an interactive and intimate environment for your most dedicated followers.
6. Milestone Chats
Celebrate achievements and milestones with your members through dedicated chat sessions, such as subscription anniversaries.
7. Member Recognition Shelf
Recognize and highlight your members on a dedicated shelf, acknowledging their support and contributions to your channel.
8. Members-Only Community Posts:
Share special updates, announcements, and behind-the-scenes content exclusively with your members through community posts.
YouTube channel memberships empower creators to curate a unique and personalized experience for their audience and allow creators to have another reliable income stream.
How to Start a YouTube channel membership?
To start a YouTube membership, you must meet certain qualifications set by YouTube:
1. YouTube Partner Program (YPP): Your channel must be a part of the YouTube Partner Program. To know more about this, read our blog post on the YouTube Partner Program.
2. Age Requirement: Creators must be at least 18 years old to participate in channel memberships.
3. Agreement with YouTube's Terms and Policies: You must adhere to YouTube's terms and policies.
4. Residence in Eligible Locations: Channel memberships, along with other fan funding features like Super Chat & Super Stickers, and Super Thanks, are accessible in certain locations.
5. 1,000 Subscribers Threshold: Creators must have accumulated over 1,000 subscribers on their channel to unlock the channel memberships feature. Need a little help with gaining more subscribers? Check out these tips.
Once channel memberships are activated, creators are required to uphold certain standards to remain active. For instance, creators cannot exclusive contests for specific members, or offer downloads of content available on YouTube.
How Much Can You Earn from YouTube Channel Memberships?
YouTube Memberships have a starting price of $4.99. This offers a base level of perks to subscribers. However, the flexibility of the membership system allows for upgrades to higher tiers, each coming with its own distinct price point and additional perks.
This means that by subscribing to the highest-priced tier, members gain access not only to its exclusive perks but also to all the benefits offered in the lower tiers.
When a new member joins, the creator receives 70 percent of the total amount, while YouTube takes the remaining 30 percent. YouTube also covers all transaction-related expenses incurred during these transactions.
This revenue-sharing arrangement ensures a fair distribution between content creators and the platform, with YouTube absorbing transaction-related costs, providing both transparency and financial incentives for creators to engage with their audience through this membership system.
YouTube has also announced that it will enable creators to give away 10 free subscriptions every month. This will hopefully encourage your audience to try and hopefully pay for the subscription themselves.
And there you have it, our ten cents on YouTube Memberships! Just one small tip, to get big on YouTube you must promote your brand elsewhere. You can use a social media automation tool, like Nuelink, to automate your YouTube videos and promote your brand on platforms like Instagram and Facebook.