YouTube creators no longer need a minimum of 5,000 subscribers to qualify for Channel Memberships.

Starting today, creators with more than 1,000 subscribers will be able to use Channel Memberships to offer things like extra content and video previews in exchange for a monthly fee, the platform announced.

“When we launched Channel Memberships on YouTube, we did it with the goal of helping creators diversify their revenue streams beyond ads,” Muli Salem, YouTube’s Channel Memberships product manager, wrote in an official blog post. YouTube is choosing to expand the program now because, since the start of the pandemic, it’s seen an increased number of creators earning revenue from memberships and other forms of “alternative monetization,” like Super Chats and merch integrations.

“We’re seeing creators of all sizes and backgrounds use channel memberships in creative ways, with great results,” Salem said, adding that on average, creators have earned four times more revenue from Channel Memberships in 2020 than they did in 2019.

Salem cited chartered accountant Rachana Ranade (1.56 million subscribers), who uses her channel to educate people on financial literacy, as an example of Channel Memberships earnings. Ranade enabled Channel Memberships earlier this year, and uses them to offer paid courses that go beyond her free content; so far, she’s made more than $100,000 through memberships alone, she said.

YouTube says it plans to release more tools for Channel Memberships in 2021, including “better creator analytics, loyalty and recognition perks, as well as easier ways for viewers to become members.”

Channel Memberships debuted in 2018, and were originally offered only to creators with more than 100,000 subscribers.

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