SAN FRANCISCO (CelebrityAccess) — YouTube announced that it has expanded its range of monetization options for its content creators, including paid monthly channel subscriptions and merch sales.
YouTube is partnering with Teespring to allow content creators to choose from over 20 merchandise items to customize and sell via a ‘shelf’ on their channel. The merch service will be available to all U.S.-based content creators with more than 10,000 subscribers.
In its announcement about merch, YouTube cited one of its content creators Joshua Slice, creator of the character Lucas the Spider. Slice has been selling a plushie of the character and has shifted more than 60,000 units worth more than $1 million in just 18 days, according to Teespring.
YouTube also announced the debut of channel subscriptions, which allow fans to purchase channel memberships. Seemingly taking a page from game streaming website Twitch which offers similar features, the new service will cost $4.99 a month and will allow users to unlock unique badges, new emoji, members-only posts in the community tab, and access to custom perks offered by creators, such as exclusive live streams, extra videos, or shout-outs.
As with its new merch offering, YouTube’s channel subscriptions will be available to established content creators with eligible channels with more than 100,000 subscribers.
YouTube also launched Premiere, a new way for content creators to debut pre-recorded videos as a live moment. In creators choose to release a Premiere, YouTube will automatically create a public landing page with a countdown clock to promote the event and will allow viewers to chat with each other and the content creator in real time.
The new monetization offerings will likely prove to be a salve to the site’s content creators, who have mostly relied on YouTube sharing a portion of ad revenue. Last year, YouTube faced a revolt among its advertisers after a string of incidents saw advertiser brands featured alongside of videos containing controversial content, prompting YouTube to impose more restrictive content rules on its creators.
“YouTube lets creators connect with their community and gives them the opportunity to earn money while doing what they love. Thanks to advertisers, creators around the world have been able to build businesses, creating an entirely new global economy that’s seen incredible growth. The number of creators earning five figures a year is up by 35 percent and the number of creators earning six figures is up by 45 percent,” YouTube’s chief product officer Neal Mohan said in a blog post announcing the updates. “As in previous years, the vast majority of the revenue is coming from our advertising partners. We’ll continue investing here, but we also want to think beyond ads. Creators should have as many ways and opportunities to make money as possible.”