As VidCon 2018 continues, YouTube this evening has announced a slew of new features that it says will help creators “earn more money and build stronger communities.” YouTube detailed the new features in a blog post

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First and foremost, YouTube says it now has more than 1.9 billion logged-in users who visit the platform every month, spanning 90 countries and 90 different languages. Just last month, this metric — which does not factor in signed out viewers — was at 1.8 billion.

With more than 1.9 billion logged-in users who come to YouTube every month and localized versions stretching across 90 countries and 80 languages, we’re opening up the world to anyone with a cell phone and an internet connection.

In terms of monetization, YouTube touts the number of creators earning 5 figures a year is up by 35 percent, while the number earning 6 figures is up by 40 percent. To help further improve monetization, the Google video site says it wants to “think beyond ads.”

Headlining the new features is Channel Memberships. This will allow users to pay a recurring $4.99 per month fee to access unique badges, new emoji, exclusive posts in the Community tab, and special custom perks offered by creators. YouTube says such perks can include exclusive livestreams, additional videos, and shoutouts.

With Channel Memberships, viewers pay a monthly recurring fee of $4.99 to get unique badges, new emoji, Members-only posts in the Community tab, and access to unique custom perks offered by creators, such as exclusive livestreams, extra videos, or shout-outs. Channel Memberships have already been available for a select group of creators on YouTube as Sponsorships.

Channel Memberships will be open to eligible channels with more than 100,000 subscribers. On the surface, it certainly seems as if this is YouTube’s, albeit it more limited, way of taking on Patreon and Amazon’s Twitch.

Furthermore, YouTube is baking-in support for merchandise sales through a partnership with Teespring. Merch has become a lucrative form of income for channels, so it makes sense for the company to bring it directly to the YouTube platform:

From shirts with a logo to phone cases with a creator’s face, we’ve joined forces with Teespring so creators can choose from over 20 merchandise items to customize and sell via a shelf on their channel. This will be available to all eligible U.S.-based channels with over 10,000 subscribers starting today, and we plan to bring even more merchandising partners and creators in soon.’

Last but not least, YouTube is announcing a new feature called Premieres. This will allow creators to debut pre-recorded videos “as a live moment.” These Premieres will go live at a specific time, with landing pages created to build anticipation and hype before a launch. Fans will be able to chat as the video premieres:

When creators choose to release a Premiere, we’ll automatically create a public landing page to build anticipation and hype up new content. When all fans show up to watch the premiere, they’ll be able to chat with each other (and with the creator!) in real time via live chat. It’s as if a creator’s entire community is in one theater together watching their latest upload.

Premiers will start to rollout to creators today. Read all of the details in YouTube’s full blog post right here.

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