If you’re a frequent YouTube viewer, you may have heard the term “Memberships” tossed around. It sounds similar to subscriptions, but Memberships are very much different. We’ll explain what this is and help you decide if you should join one.
YouTube channels that have Memberships are required to offer at least one “perk” for members. There are four different perks that can be offered:
- Members-only Community Posts: Posts in the YouTube “Community” tab that only members can see.
- Members-only Videos: Private videos only for members to watch and comment on.
- Members-only Live Streams: Live streams only for members.
- Members-only Live Chats: During a public live stream, only members can participate in the chat.
In addition, YouTube gives members a badge to make them stand out in the comments and live chats. These badges denote how long they’ve been a member of the channel, Membership level, and the channel can create its own custom badges.
Lastly, a channel can create its own custom emoji that members can use in comments and live chats.
There are many different pricing levels for memberships, and the prices vary by country. It’s up to the channel to decide how many levels they want to offer. In the U.S., the monthly price can be anywhere from $0.99 to $99.99.
The YouTube channel also gets to decide which levels get access to specific perks. They can offer one price for all members-only content or split things up so certain perks require more expensive memberships. It’s completely up to the individual channel, and won’t be the same for every channel.
Subscriptions and Memberships are not related. Subscribing to a YouTube channel does not gain you access to the Membership perks. You don’t even need to be subscribed to a channel to become a member. A subscription simply means you are following the channel and their videos will show up in the Subscription tab.
Memberships are completely optional, but every channel doesn’t qualify to enable the feature. In order to offer memberships, the YouTube channel must:
- Have more than 1,000 subscribers
- Be in the YouTube Partner Program
- The owner must be over 18 years old
- Be located in a qualifying country
- Not be set as “made for kids“
- Not have a significant number of ineligible videos
If a channel meets all of these requirements, it can offer Memberships. They will have to continue to follow the YouTube Membership guidelines and requirements to keep offering the feature.
Simply put, a YouTube Channel Membership is a way to support the channel directly and get extra content for a monthly price. If there’s a channel that you especially enjoy, and it offers a Membership, it’s something to consider.