When YouTube first launched Memberships to give creators another way to earn money on the platform, it only offered the opportunity to channels with 100,000 subscribers. Now, the Google-owned video-sharing website is lowering the barrier of entry, giving channels with 50,000+ subscribers the chance to take advantage of the feature. Fans of creators who choose to implement Channel Memberships can get exclusive access to emoji, badges and other perks by paying a $5-a-month subscription fee. The creators could give them first or even free access to events, for instance, and other free goods.
YouTube launched Channel Memberships in June long with a merchandise shopping tool that gave creators a way to put up a built-in hub on their channel to sell their gear. The website likely conjured up both features to prevent creators from dropping their channels because of ongoing monetization issues. Due to changes to YouTube's advertising guidelines, some inoffensive videos end up getting taken down. Creators then have to deal with getting demonetized and losing their (possibly sole) source of income. YouTube says Marble Machine creator Wintergatan grew his revenue by over 50 percent through Memberships -- hopefully, smaller creators can replicate some of that success.