YouTube launches free subscription offer to boost channel growth

YouTube creators can now give away 10 free subscriptions each month as part of a new program aimed at facilitating audience growth.

Eligible creators with channel memberships can use this benefit at no extra cost to promote the perks of their memberships.

Why we care. This promotion is designed to give viewers a taste of the benefits offered by subscribing to your channel. Once they recognize the value, there’s potential for them to upgrade to full-paying members, contributing to increased revenue and brand awareness.

Getting started. To ensure your account is eligible for this off, make sire you:

  • Have channel memberships enabled on your channel.
  • Offer a membership tier below $5.

How it works. To give away these complimentary memberships to viewers during a live stream or Premiere, follow these simple steps:

  • Click the “$” icon within the live chat.
  • Select “Membership gifting”.
  • Click “Gift 5 Now”.

You can give out gift memberships in batches of 5, twice a month. Share them in one stream or across several throughout the month. Unused gifts reset on the 1st of each month, so be sure to use them regularly.

Exclusions. Free of charge gift memberships are not currently available for Brand Accounts – however YouTube has confirmed it will be soon. You can check to see if you’re using a Brand account by:

  1. Signing into your Google account.
  2. Look in “Your Brand Accounts” to locate your linked Brand Accounts.

Ensure you’re using the correct account by clicking on your profile picture in the top right corner if you don’t see any listings.

What YouTube us saying. Currently, creators cannot individually select who benefits from free subscriptions, however, a YouTube spokesperson explained on X this may change:

  • “We’ve seen a lot of this feedback [about this] and we’ve shared it with the team working on memberships gifting.”
  • “These free of charge gift memberships are distributed to viewers based on how much they’ve watched and interacted with your channel for now, but we’ll keep you updated if that changes!”

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Deep dive. Read Google’s ‘manage channel memberships‘ guide for more information on promotional gift memberships.

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About the author

Nicola Agius

Nicola Agius is Paid Media Editor of Search Engine Land after joining in 2023. She covers paid search, paid social, retail media and more. Prior to this, she was SEO Director at Jungle Creations (2020-2023), overseeing the company’s editorial strategy for multiple websites. She has over 15 years of experience in journalism and has previously worked at OK! Magazine (2010-2014), Mail Online (2014-2015), Mirror (2015-2017), Digital Spy (2017-2018) and The Sun (2018-2020). She also previously teamed up with SEO agency Blue Array to co-author Amazon bestselling book Mastering In-House SEO.

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