YouTube is paying some of its most-watched creators to promote new features, according to a report from Bloomberg. Stars are reportedly earning sums in the tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars for enabling revenue-driving features including paid Memberships — which cost $4.99 per month for fans and first launched last year as Sponsorships — as well as Super Chat, which lets fans pay to make their messages more apparent in the lightning-fast clutter of a live stream chat.
Specific details of the deals, as well as the names of creators who inked them, have not been publicized. A YouTube spokesperson tells Tubefilter about the report, “We have no new initiative in place. We have always invested in our creators’ success and will continue to do so to ensure they have a great experience and can find continued growth and opportunity on YouTube.”
The aforementioned features are meant to entice creators to stay on YouTube, where their incomes are nearly universally derived from ads. How fragile that income can be was highlighted during last year’s Adpocalypse, when major marketers boycotted YouTube after discovering their ads were running against videos promoting hate speech and terrorism. Many creators reported losing a significant amount of their ad revenue in the incident’s wake.
To be clear, not all creators have access to the new perks. Memberships are only available to creators with more than 100,000 subscribers, and another new feature, merch shelves (which appear below creators’ vids and show off available products), are only open to folks with more than 10,000 subscribers.
Note: This story has been updated to reflect comments from YouTube.