Last year, YouTube took to the VidCon stage to share new ways creators could make money. This year, YouTube returned with updates to those programs. For starters, it’s adding new Channel Membership levels. Since last year, fans have been able to pay a monthly fee of $4.99 in exchange for added membership perks like exclusive live streams, extra videos and shoutouts. Now, creators can set up to five different price points and offer varying perks at each tier. According to YouTube, when Fine Brothers Entertainment tested offering multiple levels, the company’s membership revenue increased sixfold.
Building off of Super Chat, which allows fans to pay for comments that appear at the top of a livestream, YouTube is adding Super Stickers. Users will be able to purchase animated stickers to share during live streams and premieres. YouTube is also adding more partners to its Merch shelf, so creators can now work with Crowdmade, DFTBA, Fanjoy, Represent and Rooster Teeth, in addition to Teespring. And the platform is moving its “YouTube Giving” fundraising tool out of beta.
Along with these updates, YouTube introduced Learning Playlists, which will allow YouTube channels to organize collections of videos into chapters. YouTube will also hide recommendations from the watch page to minimize distractions. To start, it’s testing the feature with “trusted partners,” like Khan Academy, TED-Ed and Crash Course.
Like last year, most of YouTube’s announcements today are aimed at helping creators earn revenue. That’s something YouTube has been working on for years. It’s clear the company is still looking beyond ads and hoping creators can profit from memberships, merch and more.
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