The Pros and Cons of Paid Subscriptions for YouTube

YouTube has a lot of little features that companies haven’t tapped into just yet, but as the search engine grows larger and larger it is going to be these smaller features that help a company channel stand out from the rest. YouTube paid subscriptions allows you to earn revenue by charging a subscription fee to users who want to watch your videos (usually a monthly or yearly subscription). While this definitely isn’t the right route for some, it makes sense for larger, authoritative companies and speakers posting long-form videos.

Getting involved with paid subscriptions is easy, but you have to first make sure you’re eligible and then enable the feature because you can actually begin created paid channels and earning that cash. It’s a process that has to go in order, but one that is well worth it for many.

How to Enable Paid Subscriptions and Check Eligibility

Your first step when it comes to getting started with many YouTube features is making sure you’re eligible for the program. If you want to create a paid channel, you have to have the following criteria, which is taken verbatim from the Google support page with links:

  • Your account is in good standing.
  • You meet the general criteria for YouTube partnership.
  • You have verified your account by phone.
  • You have an approved AdSense account linked to your YouTube account.
  • You own a free channel with at least 10,000 active subscribers.
  • Your country is able to participate (see the support page for a list of countries).

Then, before you can make your channel a paid channel, you have to enable paid subscriptions for your YouTube account. The option to do this will only be available if you are eligible, so this is a good way to tell whether or not you need to make changes in order to get involved. It’s just three steps to enable this feature:

  1. Go to your Account Features page and click Paid Subscriptions. If this option says you need to sign an agreement, you can go to the Owner Features page and click Enable to sign the agreement.
  2. Click Enable that you see on the Paid Subscriptions option.
  3. Accept the Terms and Conditions.

Once you do this, you will have a new Paid Subscriptions option in your Channel Settings, which you can see on the left hand side of your screen. Remember that all enabling this does is give you the option to create paid channels. Actually creating that channel is described in the next section.

How to Create Paid Channels on YouTube

This is where the real effort begins. You have to decide if you want to create a new channel for all of your paid content or if you want to take one of your already existing channels and change it so that it requires a paid subscription. The steps for each option are slightly different, as you can see in the steps below:

  1. Go to the Paid Subscriptions page for one of your channels.
  2. Click Create New Paid Channel if you are creating a new channel or Make This Channel Paid if you are converting an old, free channel.
  3. Create subscriptions offers for the channel.

You can see your revenue in the Reports section of your YouTube Content Manager (not YouTube Analytics). When it comes to users, he/she will go through YouTube’s purchase process and get access to the paid content immediately. All subscriptions (whether you like it or not) include a 14-day free trial.

It’s also worth noting that this option isn’t the best for all companies. Creating a paid YouTube channel seems easy enough, but it can actually turn people off if everything you offer is part of the paid program. You have to have 10,000 subscribers to get involved, so you’re likely a big company, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t offer some content for free. This is how you’ll get new subscribers.

Have you ever tried the YouTube paid subscription feature, either as a company owner or as a consumer? Let us know your experience and your thoughts in the comment section below.

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