As promised last year, YouTube is finally launching a beta version of the Channel Memberships Gifting feature. The Memberships Gifting option allows channel members to buy a predetermined number of channel memberships [5, 10, 20] in a single purchase, which YouTube will “gift” to other viewers in live stream. It is only available for viewers to purchase on desktop live streams as of now and will roll out to mobile applications soon.
This new feature will encourage regular viewers to watch more live streams where they will have the opportunity to win a gift. Viewers who get a gift membership will have access to the channel’s membership features such as loyalty badges, personalized emoji, and more for one month. Viewers who receive gift memberships pay no fees, while authors receive their standard income share from each purchase. Existing channel members are not eligible for a gift membership.
How does YouTube Memberships Gifting work?
- Existing channel members click the $ button next to the live chat to purchase gift memberships on live streams.
- Viewers opt-in to be eligible to receive gifts on a channel. During the Beta, the only way to opt-in is to click ‘Allow Gifts’ on a gift membership announcement that shows in the live chat when someone has purchased gift memberships.
- YouTube distributes gift memberships to viewers based on how much they interact with your channel. Example, loyal viewers who are always watching and interacting with your content are more likely to receive gift memberships.
- Viewers get notified with a personal live chat message and email if they receive a gift membership! Gift memberships are non-recurring, and viewers who receive gift memberships don’t have to pay anything to get access to the benefits.
Gift memberships follow the same income split of 70/30 (Creator / YouTube), with the revenue split computed after App Store fees on iOS (if applicable) and other expenses like sales tax.
As of now, the company has only pushed out this beta update to a select set of creators, but more creators will be added in the coming months. If you want to enable this new option on your YouTube channel as soon as possible, you should fill out this Google form to notify the firm.