As they took over the world stage at VidCon, YouTube announced they’ll be rolling out Channel Memberships in the very near future. At it’s core, it’s a new way for us fans to show support for our favourite YouTubers and content creators.

The video-sharing website has evolved far from its days of being a mere source of daily dog videos. Instead, YouTube has become a career for many content creators who depend on the platform as their main income. And after dealing with major demonetisation struggles for some time now, YouTube’s finally introducing their new payment method so creators can make some hefty dosh.

So here’s how it works:

Channel Memberships will be available to YouTubers who are a part of the site’s Partner Program and who have more than 100,000 subscribers. The cost of the membership is a cool five bucks and comes with the perks of exclusive content, live-streams, extra videos, and possible groovy shout-outs. Access to the membership will also give you unique badges and new emojis to use in the ~ Members-only ~ Community Tab.

(Yes, this does sound like the business model Twitch uses.)

The feature’s already been trialled on the platform for some time now with YouTube Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan writing creators had seen “encouraging results”. 

“Since launching in January, comedy creator Mike Falzone more than tripled his YouTube revenue. And travelling duo Simon and Martina have built a closer-knit community and revamped a miniseries exclusively for their members, in more than 30 countries from Finland to the Philippines.”

YouTube has now also officially joined forces with Teespring – the platform a whole lotta YouTubers already use to sell their official merchandise. US based channels with over 10,000 subscribers will have the opportunity to choose from 20 merchandise items which they can then customise and sell via a Merchandise Shelf on their channel.

Just for a reminder of how much $$$ merch can bring in – wildly popular and downright adorable YouTube channel Lucas the Spider has generated a nice USD$1 million from 60,000 plushie orders… in just 18 days.

Not bad, not bad at all.

Oh, but wait there’s still more.

YouTube are also launching Premieres – a new way for creators to upload pre-recorded content as a live moment.

As Mohan explains:

“When creators choose to release a Premiere, we’ll automatically create a public landing page to build anticipation and hype up new content. When all fans show up to watch the premiere, they’ll be able to chat with each other (and with the creator!) in real time via live chat.”

The name now makes a lot of sense, ay?

To read more about YouTube’s total domination click HERE.

Image: Youtube / Lucas the Spider