YouTube Premium today is comprised of ad-free and background playback of videos and music, as well as offline downloads. An upcoming perk could give subscribers paying $11.99 one free channel membership every month.
Original 1/26: Becoming a channel member is one way to support your favorite YouTube Creators. Starting at $4.99 per month, your favorite personalities can offer perks like member-only videos, streams, community posts, or live chats, as well as custom channel badges and emoji.
Some Premium subscribers around the world — including in Australia, Canada, Germany, Norway, and Sweden — have been prompted with a snackbar about a free channel membership while browsing YouTube.com. They are taken to a page that lets them “Choose 1 channel this month” and lists current subscriptions that offer memberships.
The fine print notes how “1 free channel membership” is worth up to $5, since certain channels offer different tier levels to join at. There is notably a red “Premium” badge next to the perk.
At the moment, this perk does not appear to be fully available even for those being prompted. YouTube Premium users in a support thread note how they were charged despite the “free” nature of the channel membership offer. Meanwhile, official help resources are not yet aware of the perk, and the intro page has disappeared for some.
If this launches — and is more than a test, YouTube will be rivaling a similar feature in Twitch for Amazon Prime members. It could be a great way to help Creators, which get a 70% cut (after local taxes) of the membership fee. This could also cause your favorite personalities to vie for Premium subscribers.
Update 1/27: Google says that the free YouTube Premium channel membership perk that appeared for some was a test and accidentally rolled out to users.
More about YouTube:
- YouTube TV prompting frequent watchers to install Progressive Web App
- Activision Blizzard will host games on Google Cloud, makes YouTube exclusive streaming partner
- [Update: Now available] YouTube TV will support the PlayStation 4 soon
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