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YouTube is paying top creators to promote its new Twitch-style features

YouTube is paying top creators to promote its new Twitch-style features


It might be the best way to keep them from straying off the platform

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

YouTube, facing increasing pressure from competing platforms, is trying to help new monetization features get off the ground — and it’s even willing to pay creators to promote them. According to a report from Bloomberg, the Google-owned platform is offering creators up to hundreds of thousands of dollars if they agree to use new donation and paid memberships features introduced earlier this year. The move could keep these influencers from leaving the site for rival streaming sites like Twitch and monetization platforms like Patreon.

Super Chat, introduced back in January, allows viewers to “tip” a YouTube creator during a live stream and, as a result, have their comment stay on-screen, with the length determined by the size of the donation. It’s similar in ways to donations and “bits” on Twitch, which viewers can award streamers with in addition to a monthly subscription fee.

The company hopes that it can keep creators around for longer

While this feature does let creators better monetize their live streams, it hasn’t been too popular with every YouTube star. Thirty percent of every Super Chat donation goes into YouTube’s pockets, meaning that, for many creators, the best way for them to monetize on the platform is still to sell sponsored content and rely on advertising cuts.

To offset this, YouTube is paying these same influencers to promote this feature. It’s also paying creators to promote its new monthly Sponsorships subscription service, which is similar to Twitch’s channel subscription service and was expanded beyond gaming channels back in June.

The company hopes that by incentivizing creators to use these new Twitch-style features, it can keep them around for longer and build more reliable revenue streams for YouTubers. These deals don’t restrict creators to YouTube, but Bloomberg reports that the terms require creators to post content to YouTube prior to posting on other platforms.