Dornubari Vizor October 11, 2023

YouTube Channel Membership: The Ultimate Guide to Monetizing Your Content

In the landscape of online content creation, creating and nurturing genuine connections with audiences while monetizing content has become both an art and a science. YouTube Membership has been a game-changer, enabling creators to deepen their relationship with fans and generate additional income.

The digital realm, however, is never static, and alternatives continually emerge to challenge the status quo. We’ll explore the world of YouTube Membership, unraveling its benefits, limitations, and the unique opportunities it offers creators.

Understanding YouTube Membership

YouTube Membership is a powerful tool that content creators can utilize to enhance their connection with their audience and generate additional income.


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At its core, YouTube Membership is a subscription-based service that allows content creators to offer exclusive perks and benefits to their most dedicated fans, known as “members.

These perks are typically offered in exchange for a monthly fee paid by the members. The concept is similar to platforms like Patreon but is integrated directly into the YouTube ecosystem.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for channel memberships, make sure you first meet the minimum requirements for fan funding features. Then confirm you fit the other criteria outlined below for memberships:

  • Your channel must have more than 30,000 subscribers
  • Gaming channels must have more than 1,000 subscribers
  • Your channel is in the YouTube Partner Program
  • You are over 18 years old
  • You live in one of the available locations.
  • Your channel is not set as made for kids and doesn’t have a significant number of videos set as made for kids.
  • Your channel does not have a significant number of ineligible videos.
  • Videos set as made for kids or videos with music claims are considered ineligible.

Some music channels may not be eligible for channel memberships. For example, music channels under the SRAV contract are not eligible right now.


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Membership Tiers and Benefits

In 2018, YouTube announced the launch of its new feature, Channel Memberships. This feature is dedicated to fans who wish to support their favorite influencers and gain additional content.

The memberships are segmented into different tiers, meaning fans can subscribe to a level that suits them. By clicking the ‘Join’ button on an influencer’s home page, fans can see the wide range of perks on offer and choose the price they wish to pay. The minimum starting price for a Channel Membership is $4.99 each month.


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Here are some common benefits that creators offer to their members:

  • Custom Badges and Emojis:
    Members receive custom badges next to their usernames and access to exclusive emojis they can use in the channel’s live chat and comments.
  • Exclusive Content:
    Creators can provide members with access to exclusive videos, behind-the-scenes content, or early access to upcoming releases.
  • Members-Only Live Chats:
    Members can participate in special live chat sessions or Q&A sessions that are exclusively available to them.
  • Ad-Free Viewing:
    Members may enjoy an ad-free viewing experience on the creator’s channel.
  • Community Engagement:
    Some creators offer members a closer connection by actively responding to their comments or questions.

Setting Up YouTube Membership

  • Click the Memberships tab. This tab will only surface if your channel is eligible.
  • Click Get Started and follow the on-screen instructions.

If it’s your first time in the Memberships section, follow the on-screen instructions to sign the Commerce Product Module (CPM).

Benefits of YouTube Membership for Content Creators

Here are some of the compelling advantages that YouTube Membership brings to content creators:

  • Stable Income

One of the most significant advantages of YouTube Membership is the ability to establish a more stable income stream. With monthly subscription fees from dedicated fans, creators have a dependable source of revenue that can give financial stability. It brings a sense of security and allows creators to focus more on creating quality content.

  • Exclusive Content for Members

YouTube Membership empowers creators to offer exclusive content to their loyal members. Whether it’s behind-the-scenes glimpses, early access to videos, or members-only live chats, this exclusive content rewards your most devoted fans. It entices more viewers to join your community.

This can foster a sense of belonging among your audience, making them feel valued and appreciated.

  • Enhanced Creator-Viewer Interaction

YouTube Membership facilitates more direct and personal interactions between creators and their audiences. Creators can engage with members through members-only posts, live chats, and community posts, fostering a more profound connection that transcends the one-way communication of traditional content.

This increased engagement strengthens the bond with viewers and provides valuable feedback and insights.

  • Collaboration and Partnerships

In addition to the perks for your fans, YouTube Membership can attract potential partners and collaborations. Brands and fellow creators recognize the value of engaged and dedicated audiences.

With a thriving Membership program, you position yourself as an influential individual or brand, opening doors to exciting collaborations, sponsorships, or even branded content opportunities.

  • Feedback and Insights

Engaging with YouTube Members provides incredible opportunities for feedback and insights. Since Members feel more connected to the creator, they will likely share their thoughts, suggestions, and preferences.

The valuable feedback helps the creator refine their content strategy, understand what resonates with their core audience, and continue to improve their craft.

  • Exclusive Content and Rewards

With YouTube Membership, creators can reward Members with exclusive content that is not available to the public. Whether behind-the-scenes footage, bonus videos, or early access to new releases, the creator gives their Members a VIP experience. The excitement of receiving special content creates a sense of anticipation and makes them feel like they’re part of an exclusive club.

  • Customization and Tailored Experiences

YouTube Membership allows you to create different membership tiers, offering various perks at different price points. This flexibility enables you to cater to different segments of your audience and deliver the value they seek.

It could range from unique badges and emojis to personalized shoutouts or merchandise discounts. Tailoring the experience to fans’ preferences brings joy and a sense of belonging.

Monetization through YouTube Membership


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Monetizing on YouTube can be quite a maze, and influencers regularly experience fluctuating monthly earnings. However, it doesn’t negate the goodwill it does in that YouTube membership can bring more stability to creators’ income streams.

YouTube has set the starting price for YouTube Membership at $4.99 per month, with a maximum tier of $49.99 per month. This allows creators to tailor their perks and content to cater to different membership levels. It’s all about finding the sweet spot that works for creators and their dedicated fans.

But here’s the catch. YouTube takes a 30% cut from the total revenue. That means if a creator has 1000 members paying at least $4.99 per month, the gross earnings would be $4990. YouTube’s share of 30% would then amount to $1497, leaving the creator with $3493 in net earnings from Channel Membership.

Remember, this is just one revenue stream from YouTube endeavors. One can still earn additional income from ads, sponsorships, and other opportunities. It’s all about diversifying and finding multiple ways to support the creative journey.

While YouTube deducts a percentage of your earnings, the stability and support from Channel Membership can make a significant difference in your overall income.

Keep in mind that these numbers are just estimates and can vary based on many factors. It’s always a good idea to stay informed and track your earnings to see how your Membership program is performing.

YouTube Membership Success Stories



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MrBeast started to gain a following in 2015 and 2016 thanks to his “worst intros” series of videos, which rounded up and poked fun at YouTuber introductions he discovered on the platform. By mid-2016, MrBeast hit 30,000 subscribers.

He first went viral in January 2017, when he uploaded a video showing himself counting to 100,000, which he later revealed took him 44 hours.

MrBeast currently has over 250 million subscribers across all his YouTube channels. As of right now, MrBeast’s main channel — MrBeast — has 189M subscribers, Beast Philanthropy has 14.2M subscribers, MrBeast Gaming has 34.4M subscribers, MrBeast 2 has 26.3M subscribers, and Beast Reacts has 26M subscribers.

In mid-2022, the YouTuber created several MrBeast channels in multiple languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, French, Russian, Indian, Arabic,

MrBeast has a net worth of $500 million. In 2022, he earned $54 million, including $32 million from ads across his dozen-plus channels and $9 million from sponsored content. Notably, in 2023, he stands tall as YouTube’s highest-earning content creator, earning closer to $110 million.



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Over the years, Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, better known as PewDiePie, has become one of the platform’s most recognizable and influential figures. PewDiePie’s story began in 2010 when he created his YouTube channel, initially intending to be a place to share his gaming experiences and commentary.

Using statistics site SocialBlade, he worked to gain more than 13 million subscribers between September and December. It took him all of 2017 to gain 7 million subscribers.

PewDiePie usually uploads twice daily, which is common for most gaming channels, but he has been doing this for almost ten years.

In 2013, he became the most subscribed YouTuber, an accomplishment that firmly cemented his status as an internet sensation. At the time of writing, his subscriber count exceeds an astonishing 110 million, a colossal testament to his enduring appeal.

While gaming remained a core part of his channel, PewDiePie’s content diversified over the years. He began creating vlogs, commentary videos, and humorous sketches, showcasing his versatility as a content creator. His genuine personality and willingness to experiment with different formats endeared him to a broader audience.

Challenges and Considerations of YouTube Membership

YouTube Membership, like any venture, comes with its fair share of challenges and considerations. Let’s explore a few of them and possible ways to remedy them:

  • Lack of Ownership:

Challenge: While YouTube Membership offers creators the ability to monetize their content and connect with their audience, it is vital to remember that creators don’t have complete ownership over the platform.

YouTube retains control over the platform and its policies. This lack of ownership can present challenges, such as changes in policies or algorithms that may impact the visibility and promotion of membership content.

Strategy: While YouTube does have its guidelines, creators still have room to personalize their memberships. Focus on crafting exclusive content and perks that reflect your brand and resonate with your audience.

Building a strong online community can help you retain some control over your content’s direction. Encourage members to engage with your content, offering their input and suggestions. It is also not a bad idea to look for online community platforms that can help reserve ownership privileges for the creators.


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  • Viewer Retention:

Challenge: Retaining viewers and keeping them engaged is crucial for the success of any YouTube Membership program. With so much content available on the platform, it can be a challenge to compete for your audience’s attention consistently. Some members may join primarily for a particular perk and may not stay engaged over time.

Solution: To combat viewer retention challenges, consistently provide value to your members. Ensure that the perks you offer are enticing and worth the membership fee. Regularly create exclusive content that excites and motivates your audience to remain members. Use the YouTube community tab to keep members informed about upcoming content, live events, and community updates.

  • Managing Member Expectations:

Challenge: As your membership grows, it becomes increasingly challenging to manage the diverse expectations and needs of your members. Some may expect immediate responses to messages, while others may have specific content requests.

Strategy: Set clear expectations from the start. Communicate openly with your members about your availability and response times. Use the community tab or community posts to establish guidelines for interactions and requests. Prioritize member requests that align with your content strategy and are feasible to implement.

  • Providing Consistent Value:

Challenge: Maintaining a steady stream of valuable content and perks for members can be demanding, especially for creators who have other commitments.

Solution: Plan your content and perks well in advance. Create a content calendar that outlines when you’ll release exclusive content, host live events, or offer members-only perks. This approach will help you maintain consistency and ensure that members receive ongoing value for their subscriptions.

  • Balancing Member and Non-Member Content:

Challenge: Striking the right balance between creating content for members and non-members can take time and effort. You want to offer exclusive perks without alienating your broader audience.

Solution: Continue producing content for your non-member audience as usual. Reserve exclusive perks and content specifically for members to maintain their incentive to subscribe. Consider staggered release schedules for content, with members receiving early access and non-members seeing it later.

The Impact and Limitations of YouTube Membership


  • Financial Empowerment:

YouTube Membership offers content creators an additional and reliable income stream. This financial stability empowers creators to invest in equipment, improve content quality, and pursue more ambitious projects, ultimately enhancing the overall viewing experience for their audience.

  • Enhanced Community-Building Opportunities:

YouTube Membership fosters the creation of engaged and dedicated communities around a creator’s content. Memberships provide a space where fans can connect, interact, and share their enthusiasm. This sense of belonging can lead to more loyal and active supporters who champion the creator’s work.

  • Deeper Viewer Engagement and Interaction:

Memberships allow content creators to establish a deeper, more personal connection with their audience. Creators can offer exclusive perks, such as behind-the-scenes content, early access, and members-only live chats, creating a sense of exclusivity and appreciation among their members.


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  • Membership Fee and Viewer Accessibility:

One significant challenge is that not all viewers can afford or are willing to pay a monthly membership fee. Creators must strike a balance between offering enticing perks to members while ensuring their non-member audience still receives valuable content.

  • Content Commitment:

Maintaining a consistent stream of exclusive content for members can be demanding, especially for creators with other commitments or limited resources. Balancing member and non-member content can be challenging.

  • Managing Member Expectations:

As membership grows, managing the diverse expectations and needs of members can become overwhelming. Creators may face pressure to respond to messages promptly and fulfill member requests.

  • Exclusivity Concerns:

Critics argue that YouTube Membership can create a sense of exclusivity that alienates non-members. However, creators can mitigate this by ensuring they continue to provide valuable content to their broader audience.

  • Revenue Sharing:

Some creators and viewers may criticize the 30% revenue share retained by YouTube. It’s important to remember that the platform provides infrastructure, reach, and access to a massive audience, which contributes to its value.

  • Subscription Fatigue:

Critics also raise concerns about the growing trend of subscription services across various platforms, potentially leading to “subscription fatigue” among consumers. Creators should be mindful of not overwhelming their audience with too many subscription-based options.

The Power of Online Communities in Education


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YouTube has undoubtedly emerged as a powerhouse platform with its vast user base and monetization options.

However, while YouTube Membership offers exciting monetization possibilities, it’s important to note that the best opportunity to monetize your audience and exercise complete control lies in building an independent online community.

Here’s why making the transition to an online community could be a game-changer for creators and their audiences:

1. Keep ALL Your Earnings:

While YouTube Membership offers a revenue-sharing model, an independent community allows you to keep every cent you earn. You’re in full control of your earnings, with no need to share your hard-earned income with the platform.

2. Monetize at Your Own Pace:

With an independent community, you have the freedom to set your own pricing and monetization strategies. You’re not limited to the tier-based system on YouTube. Whether you want to offer free content, paid memberships, or a mix of both, the choice is entirely yours.

3. 100% Ownership and Control:

When you build an independent community, you retain complete ownership and control over the content you share and how you build relationships with your audience. You’re not beholden to YouTube’s terms of service or algorithm changes that can impact your visibility and reach.

4. Diversify Your Income Streams:

In addition to membership fees, you can seamlessly integrate other income streams into your independent community. Offer online courses, downloadable resources, exclusive events, and more, creating a comprehensive ecosystem that caters to your audience’s needs while maximizing your earnings potential.

5. Create a Deeper Connection:

Building a dedicated online learning community fosters stronger connections with your audience. You can engage with them on a more personal level, nurture a loyal following, and offer tailored content and support that goes beyond what YouTube can provide.

An Alternative Approach: Introducing GroupApp


GroupApp is a community platform designed to empower creators, educators, and community leaders in building and managing their online communities.

GroupApp helps you build and nurture a thriving membership community. Customize your digital space, engage members with interactive features, and monetize your passion with subscription models. You can also retain a loyal community through exclusive benefits and effective retention strategies.

Features of GroupApp


Structure your community discussions effectively using the channels feature. Creators can use channel collections to categorize conversations and moderate what gets shared in each channel in their community.

You can also Customize access levels for each channel and restrict entry through subscription plans.



Set exclusive perks like access to webinars, live coaching, and priority registration for events, all in the Events page. Members can also check to see what upcoming events there are and also see past ones.



Our course builder simplifies the process, allowing you to effortlessly create lessons by incorporating various media, from videos and audio files to PDFs and external content.

Tailor your course to your audience’s needs. With drip courses, you have the flexibility to release content at your preferred pace, whether it’s on a specific date or after a set number of days post-enrollment, all managed through an intuitive dashboard designed to provide you with full control over your users’ learning experience.



With the community Library, creators can centralize all their members’ learning materials, making it effortless for them to access your videos, audio, PDFs, and worksheets in one place. You can also keep exclusive membership courses and have only premium-paying members.



Put faces to the names of your members. The Members directory can help your community members to connect better, share among, and discuss with one another. Your users get learner profiles and can connect in a communal learning environment.


Mobile App

Elevate your online community with GroupApp’s exclusive perk – your branded mobile app. With GroupApp, your community’s identity takes center stage as you get a customized mobile app tailored to your brand.


Advantages of Using GroupApp for Online Teaching Communities

From audience ownership to enhanced customization, GroupApp offers a range of benefits that can elevate your teaching experience and engage your students more effectively.

1. Audience Ownership:

One of the key benefits of GroupApp is that it gives you greater ownership of your audience. Unlike YouTube Membership, where your audience is primarily on YouTube’s platform, GroupApp allows you to create a dedicated community under your brand. This means that you have more control over member interactions and can foster a deeper sense of belonging.

2. Channel Control and Customization:

GroupApp provides creators with extensive control and customization options. You can tailor your community to match your teaching style and objectives. Design your community’s look and feel, set your rules and guidelines, and curate content that aligns precisely with your educational goals. This level of control ensures a more cohesive and engaging learning experience.

3. No Pricing Threshold:

Unlike YouTube Membership, which has preset pricing tiers starting at $4.99 per month, GroupApp doesn’t impose pricing thresholds. This flexibility allows you to set subscription rates that align with the value you offer, ensuring that you can monetize your content effectively without constraints.

4. Reduced Distraction for Members:

GroupApp minimizes distractions for your community members. On YouTube, members may be exposed to various other videos, comments, and content unrelated to your teaching. In contrast, GroupApp offers a more focused and distraction-free environment, ensuring that members can concentrate on your content without the noise of unrelated videos.

5. Monetization Options:

GroupApp offers versatile monetization options beyond traditional YouTube Membership. You can choose from a range of income streams, including subscriptions, course sales, event sales, and one-time purchases. This flexibility allows you to tailor your monetization strategy to your specific teaching community and revenue goals.

Monetization on GroupApp vs. YouTube Membership


When it comes to monetization flexibility, GroupApp takes the crown. Here’s why: GroupApp offers a wide array of monetization models, catering to the diverse needs and preferences of both creators and their communities. Creators on GroupApp can choose from the following monetization options:

Monthly Subscriptions

Creators can offer monthly subscriptions, allowing community members to access exclusive content and perks on an ongoing basis. This model provides a steady, recurring income stream.

Quarterly Subscriptions

For creators who prefer longer commitment periods, GroupApp enables quarterly subscriptions. This model offers more extended access to exclusive content, ensuring a reliable source of income over several months.

Annual Subscriptions

Annual subscriptions grant members access to exclusive content and benefits for an entire year. Creators can offer special promotions and rewards to incentivize annual subscriptions, resulting in upfront revenue.

One-Time Memberships

GroupApp allows creators to offer one-time memberships for users who want to access exclusive content without a recurring commitment. This model caters to a broader audience base.


Creators can monetize individual pieces of content. This means that members only pay for the specific content they choose to access, offering flexibility and choice.

GroupApp’s approach empowers creators to tailor their monetization strategy to their unique content and audience. Whether you’re looking for a consistent monthly income, prefer longer-term commitments, or want to provide a pay-as-you-go option, GroupApp’s flexible models have you covered.

In contrast, YouTube Membership primarily relies on a monthly subscription model with predetermined pricing tiers (that has little threshold). Creators have limited control over pricing and this lack of flexibility may hinder creators from optimizing their revenue strategy to suit their community’s preferences and their financial goals.

Engaging and Growing Your Community

Online communities have become dynamic hubs for interaction, learning, and connection. From attracting and retaining members to mastering community management best practices, here are a few tips to help you on your journey to creating a thriving online space.

Engagement is the Heartbeat of Your Community:

Encourage active participation within your community. Respond promptly to comments and questions, and actively participate in discussions. Show appreciation for member contributions to foster a sense of belonging.

Host Regular Live Events:

Live events, such as webinars, Q&A sessions, or workshops, are excellent for engaging with your community in real-time. Use GroupApp’s live streaming features to create interactive sessions that provide value and build connections.


Promote Your Community Across Platforms:

Leverage your existing social media and online presence to promote your GroupApp community. Share teasers or sneak peeks to pique interest.

Create a Welcoming Environment:

Ensure that your community is a safe and inclusive space. Set clear guidelines for respectful communication and actively moderate to maintain a positive atmosphere. Members are more likely to stay in a community where they feel respected and valued.

Consistent Communication:

Maintain open and consistent communication with your community. Share regular updates, news, and announcements to keep members informed and engaged.

Offer Exclusive Content and Perks:

Entice potential members by offering exclusive content, early access, etc. Make joining your community an attractive proposition.


Reward Active Members:

Acknowledge and reward active members. Highlight their contributions, offer shoutouts, or create a recognition system. Recognizing their efforts can motivate members to stay engaged and participate more.

Set Clear Expectations:

Clearly define your community’s purpose, rules, and expectations. This ensures that members understand the community’s focus and the behavior expected from them.

Moderation and Conflict Resolution:

Establish a moderation system to address conflicts or issues promptly. Have a plan in place to address disputes and maintain a harmonious environment.

And There You Have It

This comprehensive article has examined YouTube Membership as an established option for building online teaching communities. But if you’re looking for a better, more flexible, and customizable approach to online community, GroupApp is the preferable solution for you.

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