YouTube tests members-only videos

YouTube cell phone
Memberships were previously available as sponsorships to YouTube creators. (Pixabay)

YouTube appears to be further incentivizing paid memberships on its channels by allowing creators to offer videos that can only be accessed by members.

Google is beta testing the feature that allows creators to switch visibility settings to “members-only.” Videos can be switched back to public at any time. Nonmembers who find the videos will see a message that says the video is only visible to members along with more information about how to become a member.

YouTube’s channel memberships program already offers features including members-only community posts and live chats.

RELATED: YouTube may silo children’s content in Kids app: report

The new tests come after YouTube last year officially announced its channel memberships program. 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.

YouTube has since expanded pricing options for memberships to range from $0.99 per month to $49.99.

Memberships were previously available as sponsorships to YouTube creators.

YouTube’s new memberships features are similar to what Facebook offers its creator community through Fan Subscriptions. The feature offers channel subscribers access to exclusive content, personal interactions and badges.

As Digiday pointed out, creators can also sell subscriptions through Amazon, Apple and Roku but said it may be easier for creators to sell subscriptions on platforms like Facebook and YouTube where they already have audiences.

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