Gift Membership: the New Long-Awaited YouTube Feature for Streamers

AIR Media-Tech
4 min readSep 5, 2022


In June 2018, YouTube surprised all users with a new feature known today as Membership. This feature has allowed millions of creators worldwide to create their own “fan clubs” and multiply their income by monthly subscriptions from their most loyal fans.

The platform covered most media market categories: from kids and entertainment videos to music industry updates and movie reviews. But, among all of these satisfied creators, there was one large segment whose needs were only partially covered by YouTube. We are talking about YouTube Gaming, which has been on the platform since November 2016. Twitch, the main competitor for YouTube Gaming, has focused on this niche and engaged more and more audiences.

Until recently, the number of features on Twitch dominated YouTube Gaming, both quantitatively and qualitatively. In the last 2 years, the platform has been proactively developing in the gaming direction, encouraging creators to switch from Twitch. This movement was also influenced by one of YouTube’s recent new features: Gift Membership.

YouTube Gaming is finally allowing creators and their fans to engage in paid subscriptions to channels they love. And you know what? Twitter literally exploded with positive feedback from famous streamers about this new feature.

As we mentioned, YouTube borrowed the idea from Twitch, where authors already received considerable income thanks to a similar function and built their own communities of fans.

How It Works

To buy a Gift Membership, a viewer must watch a live stream or premiere on a channel with the feature enabled and be a channel donor. In the stream or premiere chat, you need to click on the $ icon and select “Gift Membership.” Then, choose the number of viewers you want to make a gift to and complete the transaction. You can find more information in Google Help.

The viewer must click “Allow gifts” in the channel’s chat to receive a gift.

Currently, the Gift Membership feature is in beta testing. And is already available on eligible channels. Channel donors need to go to a web browser to make a purchase. However, viewers can enable the feature and receive gifts in their web browser and Android or iOS devices.

What do creators and viewers gain from the feature?

  1. When someone buys a Gift Membership, the author receives a considerable amount immediately.
  2. The author’s audience has an additional opportunity to influence the activity of the author’s channel.
  3. After experiencing all the benefits of the bonuses provided by the author, donors who were gifted a subscription want to remain donors and further extend the subscription on their own. And this becomes a stable source of income for authors.

To make point 3 a reality, ensure that the bonuses you provide to your donors are attractive and valuable. If you don’t know how to do it yourself, AIR Creators Ecosystem has created Altmon Development, which includes a whole set of services to launch alternative monetization features on our partners’ channels. And Membership is the main function.

There are 4 tools included in the service:

  • Channel Membership Development aims to launch the YouTube Membership function on the channel.
  • YouTube Membership Audit. Here, we analyze channel performance and develop personalized recommendations so you can better use the Membership feature and provide bonuses to your fans.
  • YouTube Membership Design is a tool that designs unique badges and emojis you can give to channel donors. Fans feel special and involved in the content, so even ordinary viewers start to subscribe for membership.
  • YouTube Supers via Gyre enables Super Features for streams (Super Chat, Super Stickers) while using the Gyre streaming service.

Contact us if you need help with alternative YouTube monetization methods. We will conduct an audit of your metrics, create a strategy, and select the most relevant services for the effective operation of Super Functions for the topic and audience of your channel.

And one more thing!

While Twitch is still the largest live streaming platform in the US, several big-name streamers have switched to YouTube Gaming. Knowing the platform’s plans and ambitions, that number will only increase.

Unlike Twitch, which keeps 50% of the creator’s revenue from subscriptions, YouTube charges only 30%, an additional incentive for gamers to switch platforms and engage new audiences to their streams and beyond. If you don’t want to waste any time with this opportunity, go ahead and enable the feature or contact us, and our team of experts will be happy to help!



AIR Media-Tech

We help digital-first creators and brands globally grow faster and earn more on YouTube and beyond. One of the leading YouTube partners in the world since 2011