YouTube Gaming Ditches Paid Channels in Favour of Expanded Sponsorship Model

This past Tuesday, YouTube announced via blog post that they will be ending their paid channels service which first launched back in 2013 to somewhat limited success. Less than 1% of creators use the service today, so YouTube have finally accepted that it may be time to pull the plug, but of course they are now offering an alternative of sorts to content creators producing videos for their YouTube Gaming arm.

Img: YouTube Gaming

This alternative comes in the form of an expansion of the company’s sponsorships programme, whereby users can purchase digital goods such as custom badges and emoji directly from their favourite channels/creators via monthly recurring payments of $4.99 USD. This offers fans a chance to support their favourite gamers while feeling like they’re getting something of value in return.
The custom badges allow sponsors to stand out from the crowd when engaging with creators and other fans via the live chat function, while the creator-designed emoji serve to brighten up the dialogue in a way that makes sense for the channel in question. The more sponsors a channel gains, the more of these emoji they are able to offer.

The benefits of signing up to a sponsorship programme extend further than a simple badge or emoji however, as appealing as they may be. Sponsors will also get access to an exclusive sponsor-only chat and immunity from ‘slow mode’ (a feature which limits how often any given user can post on a live chat). On top of that, creators will be able to offer additional benefits via third-party services, meaning the perks on offer could soon become highly diverse across different channels.

Early tests of the sponsorship model for YouTube Gaming channels have looked promising. The company included in their blog post announcing the change that, “GameAttack makes most of their channel revenue via sponsorships and Super Chat. Rocket Beans earned 1,500 sponsors in their first day. And ONE_shot_GURL’s monthly celebratory wall of sponsors is getting so full, it’s running out of room.”

To be eligible for Sponsorships on YouTube Gaming, you have to meet these requirements: 
  • You have a “Gaming” channel
  • Your channel is enabled for live streaming
  • Your channel is monetized
  • Your channel has over 1,000 subscribers
  • You are over 18 years old
  • You are located in one of the available locations
  • You are in compliance with our terms and policies
Eligible gaming channels can activate the feature via this link.

Sponsorships for non-gaming channels are currently in a closed beta stage, but interested parties can sign up here to try it out.

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