YouTube adds a “Members Only” option to put Shorts behind paywalls

By 03/29/2024
YouTube adds a “Members Only” option to put Shorts behind paywalls

YouTube is bringing a new revenue stream to Shorts. The Google-owned hub has announced a Members Only option that will allow users to put some of their short-form videos behind paywalls.

Shorts creators will be able to put up the new paywalls by choosing a “Members Only” option that will appear in the “visibility” menu. Shorts that receive the Members Only distinction will be marked with a star icon. To watch those clips, viewers will need to purchase a membership for the channel in question. YouTube’s Memberships — which are analogous to Twitch’s Subscriptions — have become increasingly widespread since they were first introduced in 2018.

TechCrunch noted that YouTube sees Members Only Shorts as a valuable tool for creators who want to host Q&A sessions, take fans behind the scenes, or tease upcoming projects. YouTube has also suggested that creators employ an informal tone for their paywalled Shorts so that viewers will feel like they’re getting intimate access to the channels they support financially.


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In a more general sense, the new revenue stream adds to the growing number of monetization options on Shorts. YouTube recently shared a blog post to celebrate the one year anniversary of ads on Shorts. The post noted that 25% of the creators in the YouTube Partner Program have turned on Shorts monetization over the past 12 months.

YouTube is not the only platform putting up paywalls on its short-form content. The availability of TikTok LIVE Subscription has been increasing since 2022, and the ByteDance-owned app recently announced that creators of VOD content will be able to charge for Subscriptions as well.

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