Has YouTube changed their Membership Program? It wasn’t so long ago, I mean… just a couple of months ago, when I was reading articles about needing 30,000 subscribers to set your YouTube channel up with a membership program for your subscribers.
This is when subscribers can pay to join your channel and have membership status at a small monthly fee (the lowest is currently 99cents) which can be set to tiers, eg. more perks for a higher monthly fee.
I already had a Patreon page, so why was I even concerned over a YouTube membership page? Especially when you needed to have 30,000 subscribers (unless you were a gamer, then only needed 1k). Yet… here I was, visiting another camping YouTube channel that had less than 10k subscribers and the ‘JOIN’ button was a clear as day.
Questions zipped through my brain. When did this change? Did it really matter? Do I want a membership button on my meek YouTube page? Is it better than Patreon?
The last question sat with me for a while. I had set up a Patreon page and didn’t advertise it much. I found it awkward to make subscribers go to a separate platform to pay for a membership where they could get more videos that sends them right back to YouTube. Heck, I really just wanted people to take the time to subscribe, let alone badger them about joining my Patreon page.
So, I did like the idea that I didn’t have to ask and nag, or beg people to go to another platform. Even if that platform took a higher percentage of the earnings. At the moment, YouTube takes 30% after any taxes and fees (think credit card fees) while Patreon only takes between 5-12%. That’s a huge difference.
Here’s the breakdown:
Pros of Patreon:
-takes less of a cut (5-12% only)
-there is no minimum sub requirement, join with zero followers
-it works across a multitude of platforms, not just YouTube
Pros of YouTube Membership
-it’s right there already on my YouTube page
-no need for followers or subs to go to another website
-it’s convenient - I don’t have to set things up on another website
-1,000 subscribers is now enough to gain your membership button
-unique emojis for live chats made by the creator (I did mine on Canva.com)
-a more detailed and personal way to interact with my YT subscribers
At just over 1,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel, I went to the monetization tab just to have a look to see if I would qualify. Whereas there was no mention any longer of a minimum subscriber amount that I could see, the ability to set up a membership button was there. Along with membership perks, I could add additional content to the platform I was already in (hoorah) and I could make emojis (double hoorah) for my members to use and play with. Oh, sweet joy!
Can I make more from utilizing Patreon? Yes. I do feel that creators can get more out of Patreon, especially if they have a good following and followers coming from various platforms (think Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest). Patreon states that most patrons have about 50% of their patrons come from YouTube. Not only does that mean that Patreon allows you to take a higher percentage of the profits, but the potential for earning through sheer volume of patrons is… well, staggering.
However, as my channel is predominately YouTube based, I decided on going with YouTube. I just don’t have the time or the energy to keep jumping back and forth on platforms, and I feel neither do my subscribers. I love that I can offer my special perks right there. I adore how I don’t have to nag my subscribers and beg for more. If they feel the urge to join, it’s right there, every time the come to my YouTube page to watch a new video.
The choice should be different for each creator. Weigh up your options and your needs before jumping in the potential $$$ first category. It’s about being able to produce additional content for your members/patrons in a quality way. And it’s about what your followers want.
Which would you choose? Why not leave a comment below and tell people which you think is best and why?
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