YouTube has announced a number of new features for the platform that are likely to be significant for the growth of the platform as well as its content creators. Neal Mohan, the Chief Product Officer YouTube added a new post on YouTube Creator’s blog to share the upcoming changes with the world. These changes were announced during the ongoing VidCon 2018 in California and are significant for all the 1.9 billion logged-in users that visit the website every month.
Mohan pointed out that the company has “doubled down on building” tools and products that YouTube creators need “not only to thrive on YouTube” but also to continue to develop YouTube as a video platform for the future. After a year full of controversies surrounding monetization on the platform, the company has finally launched a number of new features to counter the increasingly slim revenue streams from advertising. The company did note that the number of creators earning “five figures is up by 35 percent” and the creators earning six figures “is up by 45 percent”.
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However, YouTube pointed out in the blog that it wants “to think beyond ads” where Mohan added that “Creators should have as many ways and opportunities to make money as possible”. The new features that look beyond ads include Channel membership, merchandise, and Premieres. Channel membership improves and grows on “Super Chat”, a feature that YouTube launched last year where fans could buy messages that would stand out during the live chat.
As part of the Channel membership feature, viewers pay $4.99 every month to get unique badges, emoji, member-only posts in the Community tab, access to custom perks by creators that include livestreams, extra videos, and shout-outs. This feature is similar to the membership platform Patreon where users can directly give the money to the creator they are supporting. It will be rolling out for eligible channels with more than 1,00,000 subscribers on YouTube.
The second new feature revolves around merchandise and now it is easier for creators to sell their merchandise, directly from their channel. Creators can sell anything from phones cases to shirts. To achieve this, YouTube has teamed up with Teespring where creators can select from “over 20 merchandise items to customize and sell via a shelf on their channel”. This new feature will be limited to “all eligible US-based channels with over 10,000 subscribers”. YouTube is working on bringing more merchandising partners and creators.
The last feature introduced at VidCon 2018 is the launch of “Premieres” which will allow YouTube creator to share “pre-recorded videos as a live moment”. The platform automatically creates a public landing page to generate hype and anticipation about the upcoming content. During the premieres, fans who turn up to watch the view will be able to chat with each other and the creator in real time with the help of live chat.