After months of beta testing with some of YouTube’s most popular gamers, YouTube is ready to release their latest monetization feature to YouTube Gaming streamers: sponsorships.
Fans can subscribe to individual channels for a monthly fee of $4.99 USD (or a comparable fee in fans’ local currency). Doing so unlocks custom live chat badges and emojis, allowing diehards to stand out in the crowd. Sponsors also gain access to a special sponsor-only chat room and immunity from chat time restrictions, and streamers have the ability to integrate sponsorship perks into 3rd party services like Streamlabs and Discord.
To be eligible for sponsorships as a creator, a channel must be categorized as “Gaming,” be enabled for live streaming, monetized, and have at least 1,000 subscribers. Sponsorships are currently available in 41 countries, with a full list available in YouTube’s Help Center.
Creators signed with multi-channel networks will need to have the feature enabled by their network, if they aren’t already enabled for Super Chat.
Earlier this year, YouTube rolled out Super Chat to all streamers above 1,000 subscribers, allowing fans to pay upwards of a couple dollars to have a message stand out in the chat room. Gamification using microtransactions has been very popular among other live streaming apps as well, and one that has proven to be very lucrative for many creators.
Creators will pocket revenue from sponsorships in the same way Super Chat is split: with 70% going to the creator, and 30% to YouTube.
In a case study, YouTube notes that the dutch gaming channel Rocket Beans earned more than 1,500 sponsors in their first day – about 0.5% of the channel’s total subscriber base.
YouTube is also testing out sponsorships with a handful of non-gaming channels. The platform’s paid channels feature, which was launched in 2013, will soon be discontinued. The company noted that “less than 1 percent” of creators actually used the paid channels feature since it was released.
Non-gaming creators interested in the closed sponsorship beta can register their interest here.