If you've never utilized (or even heard of ) the paid subscription feature on YouTube, you're not alone, which is why YouTube is axing the feature in favor of "sponsorships", which provide users with custom, sponsorship exclusive content.
Guest post by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0
Chances are that you haven’t utilized the paid subscription feature on your YouTube channel or even considered it. The chances are also pretty high that you don’t pay to subscribe to another YouTube channel either. That’s one of the reasons why the service is now killing that feature – it’s no use having if people don’t use or want it. There is a replacement however, called “sponsorships.”
When channel paid subscriptions were launched in 2013, it seemed like a good idea, as creators were allowed to set their own prices for subscriptions to their channels. Initially, a few dozen content partners including the Sesame Workshop, NatGeo Kids and DHX Media signed on, but 4 years down the road and the estimates are that less than 1% of all channels utilize the paid subscription feature, according to YouTube. Even that low figure still seems high.
YouTube has instead begun to replace it with paid “sponsorships” of creators for $4.99 per month, although this has been rolled out primarily to users of YouTube Games. Sponsorship provides the user with custom badges, custom emoji in chat, and access to sponsors-only “Super Chats,” which are paid messages in a live chat that are like the virtual gifts users can currently buy on Twitch, YouNow or Musical.ly. As a gamer’s popularity grows and the number of sponsors increases, more custom emoji are unlocked. Sounds like something different, but essentially, sponsorship is a subscription with a different name and a standard price.
Rolling out sponsorships to other YouTube users will depend on how well they work out with gamers, although it appears the feature is available to a few high-profile content creators as a test as well.