Want to take control of your YouTube income? Put yourself in the driver’s seat with Channel Memberships, YouTube’s new monetization feature.
Have you heard of Patreon, the platform that allows creators to monetize their work? If so, you may have realized that in some ways, it’s a YouTube competitor. The platform helps video creators monetize their talents - whether that’s comedy, cooking, fitness, or another skill - with paid, multi-level memberships.
Typically, YouTubers ask subscribers to extend their loyalty and become Patrons, a nickname for Patreon members. By doing that, creators get to charge viewers for exclusive content, which allows them to earn more money outside of AdSense revenue. Depending on the level of service, these creatives can charge Patrons a few bucks a month or even $100.
Despite this Patreon benefit, the scales are beginning to tip in YouTube’s favor. To compete with Patreon, YouTube developed a tiered service of its own called Channel Memberships. With this feature, subscribers can stay on the platform and pay creators for exclusive video content, just like Patrons. For a quick summary on the topic, watch this video from the YouTube Creators Academy about the benefits of Channel Memberships:
If you’re a YouTuber who’s interested in this new opportunity, keep reading! We’ll explain what Channel Memberships are, which channels can access them, and the type of video content viewers will pay for.
How Channels Qualify for YouTube Channel Memberships
As with most YouTube programs, creators must satisfy some basic requirements before offering Channel Memberships. At minimum, you must:
Obtain more than 30,00 subscribers (for regular channels)
Obtain more than 1,000 subscribers (for gaming channels)
YouTube is slowly rolling out Channel Memberships. Some creators can access the feature right now, but most likely, those channels are in the minority. To see if you’re eligible, check your YouTube Memberships page.
What Content Can You Offer via YouTube Channel Memberships?
When you set up Channel Memberships, you can offer some wonderful, exclusive perks to your subscribers. These include custom badges and emojis, videos, live streams, community posts, live chats, and more.
As the creator, you get to decide how these perks are organized and who gets to access them. For example, you might decide level one members get loyalty badges that display when they leave a comment. Or, in addition to that, you might decide level two members get access to your live streams.
No matter what you end up doing, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to mix and match perks. YouTube is allowing creators to have up to five membership levels. Each level must contain 1-5 perks, and perks from lower levels are included in higher levels.
Need a good example to follow? Look no further than Music Matters, a theory channel with 77.3K subscribers and robust membership offerings. The creator of this channel helps viewers become music maestros with three paid plans, as shown below:
In level one, members get loyalty badges, custom emojis, and early access to videos for $1.99 each month. Going a step higher, level two costs $9.99 per month but offers way more content than the first. Members get perks from level one plus exclusive live streams, a members’ group, and behind-the-scenes content. Lastly, level three includes the perks of levels one and two. In addition to that, members can choose video topics, receive feedback on their work, get 10% off on music courses, and receive a personal thank you message, all for $24.99 per month.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? When viewers are ready to opt-in, all they have to do is click the ‘Join’ button below any Music Matters video, as shown below:
How to Turn On YouTube Channel Memberships
When you’re ready to make more money with Channel Memberships, turning on the feature is easy. Here’s a quick, step-by-step guide on how to do that:
Go to the YouTube Studio.
Navigate to the left menu and click ‘Monetization’.
Next, you’ll see the ‘Channel Monetization’ page. Go to the uppermost menu and click ‘Memberships’.
Find the ‘Set-Up Your Memberships Offer’ panel, click ‘Start’, and follow the instructions.
YouTube Channel Memberships Revenue: How Much Money Can You Make?
When it comes to revenue, creators have a great opportunity to make money with Channel Memberships. There are tons of pricing options, and YouTube is letting creators dictate the value of their content.
Right now, creators can set fee levels between $0.99 and $100 per month. After adjusting for currency rates, the same money range applies to other countries where Channel Memberships are available. To see all the pricing options, click here.
As you start earning, you might realize that all the money doesn’t go directly to you. That’s because while you get to keep 70% of the revenue, YouTube takes a 30% percent cut. Before you set your membership prices, do some calculations to estimate how much money you’d receive charging certain amounts.
The Most Important Thing to Know About Channel Memberships
Now that we’ve discussed the details of Channel Memberships, let’s look at the bigger picture.
First, there’s the issue of quality and consistency. Channel Memberships are an amazing feature, but they’re going to require some extra work on your part. If you’re only used to uploading public videos, engaging a private group of superfans may be new for you. You’ll have to juggle your normal content creation plus the exclusive perks you promised to channel members.
With that being said, consider this: Are you able to provide valuable content under these conditions? After all, YouTube’s free content is outstanding already. Your videos, live chats, badges, and more should entice viewers to open their wallets and pay you each month.
These are just a few things to consider before creating your membership levels. If you’re up for the challenge (which we know you’ll crush), it helps to flesh out your content plan and identify the value in every detail.
As YouTube shares Channel Memberships with more creators, you’ll see the competition thicken for this amazing feature. If you’re lucky enough to have the option right now, become an early adopter to start making more money on YouTube.