What just happened? After many months of creators complaining about the company’s unfair demonetization practices, YouTube is now giving them more ways of bringing in the cash. At its annual VidCon gathering in Anaheim, California, the site announced channel memberships, merchandising, and the Premieres feature.
Channels with over 100,000 subscribers will get access to Memberships. For $4.99 per month, backers will receive access to unique badges for their profiles, custom emoji, members-only posts, exclusive livestreams and videos, and other perks. While channels with fewer than 100,000 subscribers will be disappointed to miss this opportunity, YouTube says it hopes to make Memberships available to more people in the coming months.
For US-based channels with more than 10,000 subscribers, YouTube has teamed up with Teespring to let creators sell more than 20 items of customizable gear, such as T-shirts, hoodies and pillows, through a built-in hub on their channel. YouTube offered an example of the potential success creators might see from merchandising: Joshua Slice made more than $1 million by selling more than 60,000 Lucas the Spider plushies in 18 days.
Finally, there’s Premieres. The feature allows the creation of a landing page for channel owners to build the hype around a video ahead of its publication on YouTube. The page includes a countdown and the Super Chat feature, letting creators engage with their viewers before the video becomes available. In addition to promoting new content, it can also be used as a countdown to upcoming movie and video game trailers, or music videos.
Last year, a number of companies pulled their ads from YouTube after they appeared on content promoting terrorism and hate speech. Additionally, the platform raised the minimum requirements for a channel to be eligible for monetization through the partner program earlier this year.