Earn money with Channel Memberships
Channel memberships let your viewers support your channel through monthly payments in exchange for member-only perks.
- Estimated time to complete: 15 mins
- Level: “I’ve never used memberships on my channel before”
- 1,000 subscribers
- Member of YouTube Partner Program (YPP)
- Date published: May 7, 2020
- All perks offered to channel members must comply with YouTube’s Terms of Service, Community Guidelines and channel memberships policies.
Need more help with membership eligibility? Check out the Help Center!
Your membership program can have up to 5 different membership levels. The most important things for you to know are:
- Each level has to have 1-5 perks
- Members at higher levels are automatically eligible for perks you offer at lower levels.
- You can add or remove a membership level at any time. However, when a level is removed all recurring payments by members in that tier will be cancelled.
- You can set different prices for each level and offer different perks at each price (see here for price points per country).
For more information on membership levels, we suggest taking a look at this video.
Check out how other creators are using channel membership
Markiplier uses channel memberships to help fund his channel, including the videos that are more expensive to create.
ThioJoe uses this video to clearly explain what he’s offering his audience who become channel members.
Evaluate your perks
These questions can help your build effective perks and membership strategies for your channel.
Introduction to Memberships
In this video, YouTube creators Simon and Martina discuss all the things they've learned about the new feature, and share what you need to know about how to use Channel Memberships successfully.
- Help Center: Channel memberships eligibility, policies, & guidelines
- Help Center: Manage channel memberships
- Building and launching your Channel Memberships
- Evolving and growing your Channel Memberships
- Help Center: Badges and Emoji Specifications
- Help Center: Canceling, pausing or resuming your YouTube membership
- Help Center: Pricing for channel Memberships
- YouTube’s Community Guidelines
- Help Center: Analyze performance with analytics
- Help Center: Transaction Revenue report
- Help Center: How to earn money on YouTube
Launching Channel Memberships & tips for success
If you’re ready to start using Channel Memberships, make sure to invest time in the planning phase rather than rushing in and regretting it later. You want to make your members feel really special, and give them value for money. However, it’s easy to make the mistake of offering more than you can deliver. Here some things to keep in mind:
- Make it valuable: High value for your members doesn’t have to mean high cost for you - it may just mean it’s exclusive
- Make it scalable: Getting more members is awesome - but not if it means you can no longer deliver your perks
- Make them recurring: Members pay every month and can cancel at any time, so make sure you keep them happy for the long-term
- Try not to alienate: Taking anything away from regular viewers can backfire - instead, offer something extra for your members
To set up Channel Memberships follow these steps:
- Head to the monetization tab in Studio to turn on memberships. If membership isn’t available yet, check the eligibility criteria and apply for access.
- Submit your perks, badges and emojis for approval. This usually takes about 24 hours.
- Make an intro video. For tips, check out this video.
- Choose the pricing for each level. Remember that pricing varies in different countries.
- Consider having at least three price points: low, middle and high.
- Pick your lowest price carefully: would you attract twice as many members at $0.99 as you would at $1.99? If not, you may earn more revenue by setting the price at $1.99.
- Don’t underestimate what your biggest fans might be willing to pay.
- Publish the “Join” button to your page.
- Build excitement with an announcement video to introduce memberships to your community.
- Plan to keep promoting memberships. You can thank members at the end of your videos or even add cards.
- Be patient! Building a robust membership program takes time and effort.
Channel memberships allow viewers to join your channel through monthly recurring payments and get perks like badges, emojis, and other content you offer. You are going to want to think carefully about what you want and can provide. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Videos: personalized videos, early access to videos, behind the scenes, rough cuts & bloopers, and exclusive live streams.
- Engagement: members-only posts in Community tab, members-only chat on live streams, extra engagement in private chat room/group.
- Other digital content: scripts (including rough drafts), wallpaper, GIFs
- Status: custom badge, custom emojis, credit/call-out, polls for content request, ability to submit content for a video or designs for merch.
- Physical goods: stickers, apparel, discount codes for merch.
You can use the Community tab to deliver your perks by using the drop-down menu to make a post visible only to your members.To learn more about membership perks, we suggest you take a look at this video.
Badges are an exclusive member perk and they will appear next to members’ usernames in comments and live chat on your channel. You can upload up to six different badges, which will reflect how long they’ve been a member: new, 1 month, 2 months, 6 months, 1 year and 2 years.
Focus your badge design on making members feel proud to be a part of this group and connected to your channel.
Barbara’s badge designs
Emojis are fun graphics that your members can use in live chat or on your channel. The more members you have, the more emojis you can create.
When designing emojis, think about what you commonly say or do in your videos. What reactions do you expect people to have? Representations of these reactions could make great emojis!
There are many contract design websites and apps with experts in emoji design, such as fiverr, upwork, or freelancer. Having your emojis designed by the same artist will help ensure visual consistency.