YouTube Starts Selling Subscriptions — For Its Gaming Channels
We already knew YouTube was planning to launch two paid subscription services. But here comes a third one. Sort of.
Starting today, a handful of gaming-related channels on the world’s largest video site will start selling $4-a-month subscriptions, formally dubbed “sponsorships.”
But these aren’t subscriptions in the usual sense of the word: All of the videos on those channels will continue to be free for everyone, regardless of whether you pay. The sponsorships are mostly symbolic, and give payers small perks like unique icons next to their usernames during live video sessions and access to sponsor-only chatrooms during those videos.
This is the same model that gaming video site Twitch uses to let some of its top streamers make additional dough, at $5 per month per subscriber. At the time when that company was bought by Amazon last year, subscriptions were bringing in an estimated $36 million per year.
Neither YouTube nor Twitch will confirm how the money from their subscriptions is split between the sites and their video makers; however, both companies say the latter group takes home the majority of the money.