VidCon is happening in Anaheim, California. The conference is the most important event of the year for YouTube creators – and as a result, the annual launch hub of the video hub for features helping them turn their channels into cash.
The creators "want us to continue to create new products, find interesting ways to stay connected and give back to their fans," said Neal Mohan, Product Manager at YouTube, who delivered VidCon's speech on Thursday. Here is what he unveiled:
Super stickers These are animated sticker packs with themes, such as games, sports and cooking, that fans can pay to use during live streaming. They join the Super Chat, which allows fans to pay to highlight their messages during feeds and which, according to YouTube, is now used on 90,000 channels.
The Merch function, which allows creators to sell material goods such as t-shirts, started with a partner, Teespring. Now, he adds others, including Crowdmade and Rooster Teeth, and opens to more creators.
Multi-level paying membership build on a major Vidcon announcement last year. Instead of just one plan at $ 4.99 per month for fans, creators can now offer up to six different membership levels. Mohan said the Fine Brothers, whose entertainment channel React has nearly 20 million subscribers, have boosted their revenue by six-fold by adding a second tier.
YouTube also announces two new features that do good, not just good:
Learning playlists These are optimized reading lists for educational material. According to Mohan, YouTube is deploying "cautiously" with high-profile channels such as CrashCourse and Khan Academy. They allow these creators to collect videos in class-like collections and remove the "Watch Next" module that might otherwise distract from the viewer. "You get a much more focused experience," says Mohan.
YouTube donations allows creators to add a donation button to their channel, with 100% of the funds going to charity selected by the creator from a list of approved organizations.
How many people live the dream of making a living by making YouTube videos? Mohan said the number of people earning between five and six digits per year of all monetization options, including advertising, has increased by 40% over the previous year. However, the company does not disclose precise figures on the number of creators who do the same.
Many YouTube creators use alternative methods, such as Patreon, to get paid by people who love their work. But according to Mohan, the desire of creators to find new ways to make money directly on YouTube is high. "They know that their most passionate and committed fans are their YouTube subscribers and their YouYube audience," he says. "And so it's always the center of everything they do."