YouTube is testing its new Sponsorship service that lets viewers pay YouTube content creators a monthly subscription for exclusive perks, and now they've decided to go further with the beta project, expanding it to include any channel in the YouTube Gaming mobile app. Also starting is a limited beta testing phase for Sponsorships for non-gaming channels across YouTube.
YouTube says that their Sponsorship service will be replacing their Paid Channels service, which was launched in 203 but never really gained popularity. “This service offered monthly subscriptions for some channels, but with less than 1 percent of creators using it today, it never achieved popularity with creators or users,” Barbara Macdonald, a YouTube product manager, wrote in a blog post.
YouTube’s Sponsorships is very similar to the setup that Twitch uses, which has been the go-to place for live-streaming gamers. Twitch, with its Partner Program, offer special privileges to subscribers like special emoticons and access to live chat. YouTube is implementing these special privileges into their Sponsorship service as well. YouTube Sponsorship users will be able to create a digital store that gives access to emojis and badges to paying subscribers for about 5 dollars a month, matching Twitch’s baseline charge.
What YouTube considers a gaming channel is unclear. The Verge however believes that the requirements most likely involve streaming games to a certain sized audience. You do have to be over 18 years old, have more than 1,000 subscribers, have the ability to live stream, and be able to remain monetized, which can be removed if your channel violates YouTube’s terms of service.
It seems that YouTube will eventually try to release Sponsorships to every channel that meets its requirements. It is still unclear if Sponsorships will become popular, or if it will suffer the same fate as its predecessor, Paid Channels. But YouTube is trying to expand to compete with places like Twitch, which is at the same time working to expand its gaming streaming service to live music, television, films, and performance arts.
For more information, read YouTube's blog post, here.