How To Make Money With Paid Memberships on YouTube

YouTube Memberships is a program that allows fans to contribute to their favorite YouTube channels automatically each month. It provides YouTubers with financial assistance and enables them to devote all their time to making videos. As a reward, members get access to member-only content and exclusive emojis during live videos.

Here we will discuss how you can make money from YouTube channel members and whether the program is worthwhile.

How to Qualify for YouTube Channel Memberships

Creators need to meet some basic requirements before offering Channel Memberships on YouTube, as with most programs. The minimum requirements are:

  • Subscribers must number at least 1,000.
  • You have joined the YouTube Partner Program.
  • You’re over 18.
  • You are currently in one of the available locations.
  • There is a Community tab on your channel.
  • Your channel is not set to be made for kids.
  • You don’t have a significant number of ineligible videos on your channel. Ineligible videos include those set as made for kids or those with music claims.
  • The terms and policies that apply to you (and your MCN) have been agreed to and are being followed.

The Channel Membership program is being rolled out slowly by YouTube. Some creators have access to the feature right now, but most likely, these channels are in the minority. It’s important to keep in mind that meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee you’ll gain channel membership. You can check your YouTube Membership page to determine if you are eligible.

What Perks Can You Offer For YouTube Channel Memberships?

Members-only perks can be added to channels that have memberships enabled. These perks are only available to your active paid members. You can offer custom emojis, badges, and other perks to your customers.

You can offer multiple membership levels, each with a different price. The perks of multiple levels build upon each other. In other words, the highest-priced levels have access to perks offered at lower-priced levels.

You must offer your members at least one perk (and up to five perks). YouTube expect you to comply with their policies and terms for creator perks and to deliver them. 

Common membership offerings can include:

  • Members-only Community posts.
  • Members-only video.
  • Members-only live streams (beta)
  • Members-only live chat.
  • Custom channel badges overview.
  • Upload custom emoji.
  • Custom emoji specifications.

Want to follow a good example? Music Matters, a music theory channel with 180K subscribers as of May 2022, is a good place to start. This channel offers three paid plans that help viewers elevate their musicianship skills.

Members at level one receive loyalty badges, custom emojis, and early access to videos. Level two costs $9.99 per month but offers far more content than level one. In addition to the benefits from level one, members receive exclusive livestreams, a members’ group, and behind-the-scenes content. 

Finally, level three offers the benefits of levels one and two. For $24.99 per month, members can also choose video topics, get feedback on their work, and receive a personal thank you message.

Doesn’t that sound good? Visitors only have to click the ‘Join’ button under any Music Matters video when they are ready to join.

How to Turn On YouTube Channel Memberships

Turning on Channel Memberships is easy when you’re ready to make more money. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Visit the YouTube Studio.
  • Click ‘Monetization’ in the left menu.
  • You will then see the ‘Channel Monetization’ page. Click on ‘Memberships’ in the uppermost menu.
  • Go to the ‘Set-Up Your Memberships Offer’ panel, click ‘Start’, and follow the instructions.

How Much Can You Make With YouTube Channel Memberships?

The YouTube Channel Memberships work by offering subscribers a choice of “tiers”. Higher tiers pay more and receive better perks.

YouTube has predetermined the pricing you can set for tiers, which must be between $0.99 and $100 per month. The same range of money applies to other countries where Channel Memberships are available after adjusting for currency exchange rates.

You should also clearly distinguish between what you offer for $1 and what you offer for $40! 

Memberships are free, but YouTube will take a 30% cut of your profits. 

Let’s say you charge $4.99 for one of your membership levels. That will be around $500 in revenue when you reach 100 members. With that revenue:

  • You receive $350.
  • YouTube receives $150.

That’s a lot of money. It only increases as you earn more. You will be paying Youtube $1500 a month once you reach the 1000 subscriber mark.

YouTube Channel Memberships: Worth It for Your Business?

Creators who want to focus on creating content and making money without having to run a business can take advantage of YouTube Channel Memberships. 

YouTube Channel Memberships can be integrated with your existing sponsored content and advertising revenues without significantly increasing your workload. All you need to do is create custom emojis and upload occasional bonus content!

Customer mindsets are support oriented, meaning:

  • Your reputation as a creator is good.
  • They want to support your efforts.
  • They view their monthly payment as a donation to you.

Channel memberships on YouTube have two downsides that you should be aware of:

  • Members of your paying channel do not have access to your contact information. Migrating to another platform is therefore a challenge. This can be minimized by creating member-only content on YouTube that asks paying subscribers to join a special email list.
  • YouTube will keep a large portion of your earnings. The creator receives 70% and YouTube keeps 30%. This is higher than what most membership platforms charge.

Is Patreon A Better Alternative To YouTube Channel Memberships?

When it comes to expanding your audience beyond your YouTube channel and taking control of your income, Patreon could be a good choice. 

Patreon is one of the most popular platforms for paid memberships outside of YouTube.

You can create different levels of support on the platform. There are two types of tiers. Monthly recurring payments or payments per upload. Each upload can be monetized in its own way.

With Patreon, you can create trackable benefits. If someone joins your VIP level, you might consider giving them a t-shirt.

You can easily track who has already received their shirt and who has yet to receive one by having Patreon collect each individual’s postal address.

Patreon has the advantage of creating gated, member-only content.

You will need to create more bonus material, but you will be able to set your prices more freely and you will keep more of your income.

In another article, you can learn more about how to make money on Patreon a little more in-depth.

Final Words

You will need to do some extra work to take advantage of Channel Memberships. If you’re used to posting public videos, engaging a private group of superfans will be an entirely new experience. The channel members who joined your channel will receive exclusive perks on top of your regular content creation.

To get started, ask yourself: Can you produce valuable content under these conditions? How about the quality of your free content on YouTube? You have to engage viewers through your videos, live chats, badges, and more to encourage them to open their wallets for paid memberships.

Before creating your membership levels, keep these things in mind. It helps to flesh out your content plan and identify every detail’s value if you’re up for the challenge (which we know you’ll crush).

The competition will intensify as YouTube shares Channel Memberships with more creators. To make more money on YouTube, you need to become an early adopter if you’re fortunate enough to have the option right now.

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