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YouTube will allow users to gift paid subscriptions to each other

It's the latest in a series of features cloned from Twitch.

A woman demonstrates YouTube services on the Xbox game console at the Microsoft E3 XBOX 360 press briefing in Los Angeles, California June 6, 2011. Microsoft is looking to put its popular Kinect motion-sensing device at the heart of its Xbox game console, unveiling plans Monday to allow users to control television feeds, search YouTube and play games with voice commands. REUTERS/Fred Prouser    (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY BUSINESS)
Fred Prouser / reuters
Amrita Khalid
Amrita Khalid|@askhalid|May 10, 2022 5:15 PM

Starting tomorrow, YouTube will give both fans and creators the ability to gift paid channel subscriptions. A number of influential streamers tweeted the announcement today, many of whom were ecstatic about a new monetization tool. Gifted subs have been a popular feature on Twitch — YouTube Gaming's main rival— for a while. Many streamers see subscriptions as an easy way to generate revenue while also building their community. But YouTube has dragged its heels on releasing the much-anticipated feature for some time. Finally, YouTube Japan tested the waters with gifted memberships earlier this year for a select number of channels. Gifted memberships — which is still in beta — will now be available to all YouTube Gaming users in the US and UK.

Fans normally pay $4.99 per month for channel memberships, which allow them to access user badges, emotes and other exclusive content by their favorite creators. YouTube Gaming has released a number of other Twitch-like features this year, such as Live Redirects, which allow streamers to send fans to other streams or premieres. 

While Twitch remains the biggest US-based platform for livestreaming, a number of its high-profile streamers have decamped in recent years for YouTube Gaming. And there may be more to follow. Bloomberg reported last month that Twitch partners will get a smaller cut of revenue from subscriptions (50 percent from 70 percent) under a new monetization model by the Amazon-owned platform. YouTube Gaming takes only 30 percent of a streamer’s revenue from channel subscriptions. While YouTube Gaming doesn’t have as big of an audience as Twitch, that could easily change if more popular Twitch creators leave for greener pastures.

YouTube will allow users to gift paid subscriptions to each other