YouTube is paying some of its top creators up to six figures to use and promote features like subscriptions and pinned comments in chat, according to Bloomberg. The report doesn't identify the creators (the terms of their deals aren't public and they won't want to risk YouTube's ire), but given the sums involved, it's a safe bet several of the platform's biggest names are receiving the payments.
Some creators have been unhappy over the limited methods through which they can earn a living from YouTube, and many are worried that ads will disappear from their videos even when they've done little wrong. Rivals like Facebook, Instagram (which recently released a longform video app) and others have for years tried to lure away big names, and YouTube has a history of paying up to keep its stars on board.
In a bid to keep creators happy, YouTube has recently added more ways for them to make money, such as a merch program, letting viewers pay to pin comments to the top of a live chat, and making Twitch-style paid memberships more widely available. Paying top names to promote such features could show other creators there are more avenues to earn a living on YouTube than just ads. The features give more ways for YouTube to earn a cut too.
Meanwhile, it seems the company isn't requiring stars to keep their content exclusive to YouTube under the new contracts -- they can post material elsewhere, as long as they upload videos to YouTube first.