YouTube Debuts Tools for Monetization and Community at VidCon '18

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Serving the creator community that made it what it is, YouTube announced several monetization and community tools at its 2018 VidCon keynote. YouTube's chief product officer Neal Mohan did the honors this year.

Creators will soon be able to offer Channel Memberships, which will let superfans pay a monthly price of $4.99 for perks like unique badges and emoji. They'll also be able to read Community tab posts marked members-only and view exclusive videos. And sometimes they'll get shout outs from their favorite creators. YouTube began testing this feature in January, Mohan noted; it will be available to eligible channels with over 100,000 subscribers in the coming weeks, and even more in the coming months.

Building another avenue for monetization, YouTube has partnered with Teespring to let creators offer their own branded merchandise. This feature is available today for U.S.-based channels with over 10,000 subscribers. Products might include t-shirts or phone cases, with 20 product types available. YouTube will bring more merchandise partners to the program in the near future. 

YouTube also announced new ways for creators to feature their videos. With Premieres, creators will be able to create live events spotlighting pre-recorded videos as a way to draw attention to new content. When creators set up a Premiere a landing page is automatically created. Fans who gather at the page can interact with each other or the creator via text. They'll then see a countdown clock before the video starts. "We can't wait to see what creators are going to do with it," Mohan said. Premieres begins rolling out today.

Look for YouTube to soon get into the Stories market, as it will introduce its own version—YouTube Stories—later this year for creators with over 10,000 subscribers. As with Instagram and Snapchat, Stories are quick videos shot on-the-go, and creators will be able to dress them up with stickers or link out to other videos. 

Mohan also dropped a few stats on the audience, as YouTube execs like to do. YouTube now counts 1.9 billion logged-in users per month, and is viewed in 90 countries and 80 languages. The number of creators earning 5 figures on the platform increased 35 percent in the last year, and the number earning 6 figures increased 40 percent.

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