YouTube said on Thursday that video uploaders with more than 100,000 followers could start paid fan clubs on the service, one of the new features aimed at helping itself and its users diversify revenue.
On stage at VidCon, a conference created that brings together fans, creators, and industry leaders related to online video, Youtube announced memberships and expanded merchandise sales.
With Channel Memberships, viewers pay a monthly recurring fee of $4.99 to get unique badges, new emoji, Members-only posts in the Community tab, and access to exclusive livestreams, extra videos, or shout-outs. Channel Memberships have already been available for a select group of creators on YouTube as Sponsorships. This feature will soon be expanded to eligible channels with more than 100,000 subscribers on YouTube under the new name Channel Memberships.
Merchandise has been a part of many creators' businesses for a long time. Youtube wants to make it easier for more creators to sell merch directly from their channel. So the company built a product that allows them to do just that. From shirts with a logo to phone cases with a creator's face, Google has joined forces with Teespring so creators can choose from over 20 merchandise items to customize and sell via a shelf on their channel. This will be available to all eligible U.S.-based channels with over 10,000 subscribers starting today, and Youtube plans to bring even more merchandising partners and creators in soon.
Youtube also introduced a new way for creators to upload content to YouTube called Premieres. With Premieres, creators will be able to debut pre-recorded videos as a live moment. When creators choose to release a Premiere, Youtube will automatically create a public landing page to build anticipation and hype up new content. When all fans show up to watch the premiere, they'll be able to chat with each other (and with the creator) in real time via live chat. It's as if a creator's entire community is in one theater together watching their latest upload. Premieres also unlocks new revenue streams. Creators can use Super Chat on traditional YouTube uploads and take advantage of Channel Memberships perks that were previously only available on Live videos. Premieres are starting to roll out to creators today and will be available broadly soon.
More than 1.9 billion logged-in users who come to YouTube every month and localized versions stretching across 90 countries and 80 languages.