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channel memberships creators

Meet 4 APAC creators building stronger communities with channel memberships

See how 4 creators are using channel memberships to bring fans closer to the content they love and to show their support even more.

At YouTube, we’re constantly innovating to support creators on their creator journey while also finding more ways for fans to get involved with the content they enjoy. Channel memberships is one key example, allowing creators to diversify their revenue streams while bringing their fans even closer to the content and creators they love. With a monthly fee, fans can gain access to unique badges, custom emoji, and other special perks offered by creators.

With the recent YouTube Partner Program expansion, more creators will be able to have earlier access to fan funding features like channel memberships and connect with their viewers and start earning money even earlier on their creator journey. We chatted with 4 creators from APAC to learn about their experience on how they’ve made channel memberships work best for them.

ayo main

Creator: Ayo Main (Indonesia)

Why did you get started with channel membership?

I introduced channel membership in 2021 as I was motivated to create a sustainable payment platform for my community-driven projects outside of YouTube. With a Discord community and a Minecraft server as integral parts of my channel, I needed a way to support these without solely relying on ad revenue. Channel membership provided the perfect solution for auto-renewing monthly payments, ensuring the continuity of these projects. Additionally, I wanted to offer something valuable to my audience beyond standard content, fostering a sense of belonging and shared learning experiences within the community.

How do you plan your content for channel members and for all viewers? Is the process different?

My strategy is to complement each other. For all viewers, I focus on engaging and informative content for a broader audience including regular uploads and engaging topics. For channel members, I offer exclusive content and additional perks with a more intricate planning process. It involves creating unique content such as VODs, mentorship sessions and exclusive in-game experiences on our Minecraft server, with a more personalized filming and editing style.

The addition of channel membership does require more planning and execution, but the workload is manageable. This additional effort is counterbalanced by the benefits it brings, such as stronger community engagement, a reliable income source and a deeper connection with my audience. This ensures that the quality of content remains high for all viewers while providing extra value to channel members.

Focus on crafting a unique experience for your members. Provide content and perks that are not only enjoyable but also align with your values. Members should feel that they're a part of something special and valuable.”

What are some difficulties you faced when getting started?

The most significant hurdle was promoting channel membership without making it seem like a mere advertisement. I wanted members to join because they genuinely saw value in it. I took inspiration and studied strategies from successful brands and influencers, observed how they marketed products without feeling intrusive, and then adapted them creatively. I found effective ways to communicate the value of channel membership without it feeling like a sales pitch.

Setting up channel membership was surprisingly straightforward due to YouTube's user-friendly interface. It required creating different tiers, defining perks, and communicating these clearly to my audience. The technical aspect was easier than expected. Creative promotion and YouTube's accessible tools made the setup relatively easy.

I took inspiration and studied strategies from successful brands and influencers, observed how they marketed products without feeling intrusive, and then adapted them creatively.”

Do you have any advice for those who have not started on channel membership?

Before launching a channel membership program, it’s essential to have a deep understanding of your audience, so you can design membership tiers and perks that cater to their needs. Start small if you need to, and gradually expand as you grow and understand your audience better.

Differentiate your offerings with unique and valuable perks not found elsewhere, ensuring the effort you put in is sustainable and doesn’t rely heavily on financial resources, while ensuring consistency in content creation and delivering on membership perks.

Focus on promoting the genuine value and experiences your members will gain, while adapting the program to your members’ needs and expectations – always be transparent with your audience about how the program works, what they can expect and what you’re doing with the fees. Remember that success takes time to build, so be patient and persistent in providing value and fostering a sense of community among your subscribers.

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Creator: WinF (Vietnam)

You’ve been running your channel for about 10 years and started channel membership in 2020. What encouraged you to get started?

I’ve made great efforts to spread and share stock investment knowledge over the years, and my main motivation comes from changing how Vietnamese people approach the field of stock investment as it’s still relatively quite new.

I heard about channel memberships being implemented in other parts of the world, and was planning to develop a membership program to continue spreading knowledge and stimulating ideas for individual investing in Vietnam. When YouTube enabled this feature in Vietnam sometime late 2020, I remember WinF Channel – Vietnam Securities Community was one of the first few channels creating exclusive content for channel memberships.

How do you plan your content for channel members and for all viewers?

Sharing knowledge about the stock market has been one of my passions for many years, based on my own experience and years of investment practice in the field, so creating content for it comes naturally for me.

While there are similarities in the general content for both channel members and all viewers, channel members gain access to content that are more similar to tutorial programs and online courses, with a focus on market sharing that is more systematic and concise. Together with my WinF team, we have also built a dedicated membership section featuring titles of the videos as Podcasts section, for ease of sharing.

If you’ve not started using channel memberships, it’s a great motivator and incentive for you to develop better content tailored to your members.”

What are some channel membership strategies you employ to differentiate yourself from others? How did you come up with the different tiers and pricing?

Our channel members gain access to online instructional courses for stocks investment with low fees, which is unique compared to other content and resources available to the Vietnamese audience. My team and I also focus on improving the quality of content provided to different tiers, prioritizing higher tier channel members with first-hand exclusive access before opening up the content to the lower tier channel members later on.

What are some of the differences you noticed on your channel before and after you implemented channel membership?

We received a lot of positive feedback from channel members about the quality of content and knowledge they’ve gained. We have also received a lot of referrals who have joined our channel membership program to gain access to content and knowledge that the WinF team is building. It’s been a very win-win relationship for everyone.

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Creator: Narae is Consulting (Korea)

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your channel?

I’m Teacher Narae from Narae is Consulting channel. I create content that teaches job seekers how to prepare for interviews using past interview questions with examples of good and bad answers. I worked as a Human Resource Development (HRD) consultant for about 5 years, planning and teaching leadership and communication courses. But as the industry started facing challenges due to the coronavirus, I started to provide interview consulting online. I wanted to keep sharing my knowledge with more people, and since last year, I have been giving short and bold interview tips through Shorts.

How do you plan your content for channel members and for all viewers? Is the process different?

I plan content in a way that makes it easy for me to run the channel membership. For example, I live stream for about an hour around 2–4 times a month, with the live stream content later becoming members-only content. So naturally, members-only content continues to be created with every live stream I do.

Additionally, some of the content I create from my paid consulting services are also available to channel members, with more special videos in the pipeline. But for now, we are focusing more on sustainability and consistency. Apart from replays of my live stream content, I also spend time uploading additional materials about once or twice a month, as I started getting more members and wanted to offer them something more. For now, I’m really focused on what I can do consistently and also try quickly!

Why not try it with an open, carefree mind? Channel membership is one way to express your gratitude to your subscribers, by giving them something more.”

What are some difficulties you faced when getting started?

In the beginning, I felt a lot of pressure about providing content in exchange for money. I also had questions about how I should balance my paid and free content, and whether creating paid content would sideline the free ones. But I decided to give it a try with a low membership fee and by making extra use of my live content. In the end, the response was good and membership steadily increased. I realized I was overthinking at the start!

I also got advice from fellow creators who use channel memberships and realized many had very simple beginnings. They realized that people will make their own decisions on becoming a member and advised me not to worry so much about that. That I should just give it a try and see how it goes. So, I did! Although there is a bit of a process setting up the different pricing tiers and adding images, I managed to get it done in 2 days by following the guidelines which made it simple.

I decided to give it a try with a low membership fee and by making extra use of my live content. In the end, the response was good and membership steadily increased.”

What are some channel membership strategies you employ to differentiate yourself from others?

I realized the existing interview content was too serious and only taught in the same lecture format — the job preparation process can be fun, too! So, I wanted to create something different.

Taking inspiration from situational drama content, I created a virtual character called Teacher Narae at first, but soon realized adding an interviewer and a job seeker character made the content easier to understand. It was the first time I used this sort of format, and it really differentiated us. We also created a signature message, “Let’s pass”, so that it would quickly be remembered by job seekers. It became a fan favorite phrase! The entire process wasn't too difficult because the idea came naturally from trying it out myself.

Now, I promote channel membership during live streaming, sharing the benefits of becoming a member such as getting additional materials. It’s something I continue to talk about when I go live, because I believe no matter how good a service is, it is difficult to spread its value if people do not know about it.

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Creator: Shirakami Fubuki (Japan)

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your channel?

I'm Shirakami Fubuki, a 1st generation member of the VTuber group hololive and a member of its subgroup hololive GAMERS! I started my channel to create enjoyable content for people with the same interests and to build a community of like-minded people.

What helped you get started with channel membership?

Anyone can easily get started on channel membership! Launching my own channel membership was relatively easy as I wanted to use this opportunity to develop more fun content for my audiences. For example, through channel membership, I was able to distribute exclusive illustrations to my members to further appreciate them for supporting me!

What strategies do you use to differentiate yourself and your content with channel membership?

I consulted with employees at COVER Corp., the agency I’m affiliated with, and brainstormed several ideas with the goal of creating content freely and spontaneously. With channel membership, my members are able to gain a closer connection with me through content and conversations that I don’t usually share in my regular livestreams.

Being aware of your own brand and individuality can help you create better content for your audience!”

What differences did you see in your channel before and after introducing channel membership?

I’ve seen an increase in fans enjoying my membership content and more fans joining my livestreams. I’ve also received an increasing demand from my members to increase the number of custom emoji.

I’m really glad to see my fans enjoying my content! By increasing the number of custom emoji, I see an increase in engagement in the live chat during my streams.

Do you have any advice for people who are new to channel membership?

Try it! I highly recommend anyone trying to grow their channel to try channel membership by providing various benefits for your members to enjoy. You can do this by thinking about the content and benefits you’d enjoy engaging with personally. I’m still learning and growing as I go, but I find that it is important to step back and set aside time to take a look at what you’ve planned. Being aware of your own brand and individuality can help you create better content for your audience!

If you’d like to know more about channel memberships, please visit here.