One of the easiest ways to monetize a YouTube channel is through a paid membership community. This also allows you to build a more robust and loyal following. For a small monthly fee, your viewers can get access to various perks, such as exclusive content and behind-the-scenes access.
YouTube Channel Membership is a program that allows creators to offer paid memberships to their audience, which provides exclusive perks such as access to custom emojis, badges, live streams, and other content that is not available to regular viewers. The program was launched in 2018 and is available to eligible channels.
After you have gained a lot of followers and subscribers on YouTube, you might have thought about adding a paid membership community to your channel to earn money from your content without spending a lot of time and effort.
Other than giving creators more financial benefits, YouTube channel membership gives fans access to support the creators they love.
YouTube's channel membership model differs from YouTube Premium
YouTube Premium, a subscription service, offers a variety of features, including ad-free access to videos, offline playback and YouTube Music. If you are a Premium user, then your YouTube app experience will affect all of your devices, including your iPhone, iPad and Android devices.
Since there are no ads on YouTube Premium, creators are paid according to how much people watch their content. Meanwhile, in a paid membership community, creators receive money based on the level of membership offered. Creators can earn money from their channel memberships in addition to ad revenue.
Take MrNigelNg for example. The standup comedian is known for his videos roasting popular celebrity chefs using his internet persona called Uncle Roger. In addition to ad revenue from his 7.38M subscribers, the channel offers memberships, which provide access to exclusive content, early access to videos, and custom emojis.
To start a channel membership on YouTube, you'll need at least 30,000 subscribers, but only 1,000 subscribers to activate if you run a gaming channel. Additionally, to run a YouTube channel member, you have to be at least 18 years old.
Channel Memberships offer creators a way to build a stronger relationship with their audience and foster a sense of community. Creators can offer exclusive content to their members that can increase their value proposition and incentivize viewers to become members.
YouTube channel memberships come with various tiers that allow subscribers to choose their preferred perks. The higher the tier, the more they'll receive.
Originally, YouTube had set the pricing for each level. As of December 2021, you can now customize the pricing for each membership level. The platform suggests having three pricing tiers — middle, low and high.
Certain perks, however, are not allowed to be offered on YouTube, including downloads of music that's available on the platform, in-person meetings, and anything that's targeted toward kids and lotteries.
Downsides of channel membership
Some channels, such as The Slow Mo Guys, Bon Appetit, Big Think, and even Wintergatan who made 50% of his revenue from membership, have stopped offering memberships to their channels. Although they’re not stating their reasons, there are some aspects that might have caused it.
Although memberships provide a way for viewers to directly support their favorite creators, it also means that they require viewers to pay at least a $4.99 monthly fee, which may be a barrier to some. Creators must also create additional content for their members, which can be time-consuming.
In addition, Channel Memberships are dependent on YouTube's platform and policies, which can change at any time.
One of the biggest disadvantages of channel memberships is that they don't allow you to access the contact details of your subscribers. This can prevent you from moving to a new platform in the future.
To minimize this issue, you can create a member-only post on YouTube that asks your paying subscribers to sign up for a special email list.
On top of that, YouTube creators are paid 70% of their earnings, and the platform keeps 30% of the revenue. This is significantly higher than other membership platforms' fees.
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