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Diversify your YouTube revenue

Here’s how creators and artists can get started with new revenue streams — beyond ads — on YouTube

As business owners, creators and artists are navigating the world as their own CEOs and bosses. And YouTube just wouldn’t be YouTube without all of the helpful and inspirational content they’re making — from teaching people how to live off their own land to uploading full-length cartoons

We believe creators and artists should have as many ways and opportunities to make money, and this is now more important than ever. Here’s how creators and artists can get started with new revenue streams — beyond ads — on YouTube:

1. Go Live

Going live or hosting a premiere on YouTube allows creators and artists to connect with their fans in real time and offers monetization opportunities through Super Chat and Super Stickers. Like Alec Steele, a Montana-based blacksmith who live streams himself making swords, sculptures, and tools to his community of fans. He upped his production of live content in April, and he earned ~$5k in Super Chat and Super Stickers revenue on a single video. Then there are artists like M.S.S. Project, a rock band from Japan, whose fans started a grassroot effort using Super Chat and Super Stickers on the band's live stream in March to help them recoup sunk costs from having to cancel their concerts. (The grand total: over $1 million dollars!) With more artists going live, we’re expanding the availability of Super Chat and Super Stickers to more artist channels. See if you’re eligible

2. Set up your merch shelf

Creators and artists who work with any one of our many merchandise partners, globally, can set up a merch shelf directly under their videos. The merch shelf lets viewers browse and purchase merchandise directly from the watch page. It also gives fans an opportunity to show their love and support their favorite creators and artists! For example, creator Seth James DeMoor, whose channel inspires others to take up running, organized and live streamed a virtual marathon, amid the cancelation of organized events. On the day of the event, he sold thousands of dollars worth of merch. And artists like Selena Gomez used the merch shelf to offer fans exclusive albums alongside her music video for ‘Rare,’ selling out in less than an hour. We recently launched the merch shelf in countries like Japan and South Korea. See if you’re eligible.

3. Find your super fans with Channel Memberships

Channel Memberships allow fans to pay a monthly recurring fee for access to custom perks and exclusive content. Early adopters like Mr and Mrs Gao, an educational channel, have seen a boost of over 75% in the number of paying channel members since the beginning of 2020. Memberships make up more than 65% of their total YouTube revenue. See if you’re eligible.

4. Take Channel Memberships to the next level

Creators can set up to five different price levels for Channel Memberships, each with varying perks. Akash Banerjee, who creates content around political and social satire, increased his memberships revenue by over 175% and active members by 190% since March 2020. He offers his fans a variety of The Deshbhakt with Akash Banerjee membership levels, ranging from custom emojis to member Q&A to shout-outs in his videos.

The number of creators and artists who make the majority of their YouTube revenue from Super Chat, Super Stickers, Channel Memberships and merch increased over 40% between January and May this year.

We’ll continue to focus on helping creators and artists diversify their revenue and grow their businesses on YouTube. To dive in and get started, visit these learning toolkits on Creator Academy for free courses.