For the most part, YouTube is free to watch, but the company has created channel memberships as a way for creators to earn some money by locking certain content behind a paywall.
Now according to a recent announcement by the company, it seems that in the future, users will be able to gift each other membership subscriptions. According to YouTube’s announcement, here’s how the gifting will work.
“With Memberships Gifting, your channel members can buy a set number of channel memberships [5, 10, 20] in a single purchase, that YouTube will ‘gift’ out to other viewers in your live stream. Viewers who receive a gift membership, get 1 month of access to your channel membership perks like loyalty badges, custom emoji and more. Viewers who receive gift memberships do not pay any charges and as the creator, you receive your usual revenue share from each transaction.”
If this sounds familiar, it is because it is kind of similar to Twitch’s Gift Subscriptions, so if you’re already familiar with that, then this is more or less the same in concept. At the moment, YouTube says that this new feature will only be available to a small group of creators and that it will only be available on the desktop version of YouTube.
Presumably further down the road as the feature gets fine tuned, it should open up to all users and maybe even find its way onto mobile.