YouTube will let users give each other paid subscriptions as gifts.
Starting tomorrow, both fans and creators will be happy to give paid channel subscriptions to one another using the YouTube platform. A number of notable streamers, many of whom were pleased about the news, took to Twitter today to express their excitement over the new monetization option. A popular feature on Twitch, YouTube Gaming’s primary competitor, has been gifted subs for quite some time. Subscriptions are seen by many streamers as a simple method to make cash while simultaneously growing their audience. YouTube, on the other hand, has been dragging its feet on introducing the much awaited feature for quite some time. After everything was said and done, YouTube Japan tested the waters earlier this year with free subscriptions for a restricted number of channels. Gifted memberships — which are currently in testing — will now be accessible to all YouTube Gaming users in the United States and the United Kingdom, YouTube said today.
Fans often pay $4.99 a month for channel subscriptions, which get them access to user badges, emotes, and other unique content created by their favourite producers, as well as other benefits. This year, YouTube Gaming has introduced a lot of new services that are similar to Twitch, such as Live Redirects, which let broadcasters to lead viewers to other streams or game premieres.
However, although Twitch continues to be the most popular livestreaming network in the United States, a number of its high-profile broadcasters have switched to YouTube Gaming in recent years. It’s possible that there will be more to come. According to a report published last month by Bloomberg, under a new monetization strategy implemented by the Amazon-owned platform, Twitch partners would get a reduced percentage of income from subscriptions (50 percent as opposed to 70 percent). YouTube Gaming receives just 30% of a streamer’s earnings from channel subscriptions, according to the company. While YouTube Gaming currently does not have as large an audience as Twitch, that may potentially change if more prominent Twitch developers decide to depart for more lucrative opportunities.