YouTube Subscriptions and Memberships

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What’s the Difference Between YouTube Subscriptions and Memberships?

Understanding YouTube Subscriptions: What Does Subscribed Mean on YouTube?

YouTube is a popular video-sharing platform that offers various features to both content creators and viewers. Two of the most commonly used features on YouTube are subscriptions and memberships. While they may sound similar, there are some key differences between the two. In this article, we will explore the dissimilarities between YouTube subscriptions and memberships, and how they impact both creators and viewers.

Navigating the world of YouTube can sometimes be confusing, especially when it comes to understanding the various terms and features associated with the platform. One commonly used term is “subscribed,” which may leave you wondering, “What does subscribed mean on YouTube?” In this article, we’ll clarify the meaning of this term and explain the difference between a YouTube subscription and a YouTube membership.

When you “subscribe” to a YouTube channel, it means that you have chosen to follow and stay updated with the content produced by that particular creator. Subscribing to a channel is completely free and can be done with a simple click of a button. By subscribing, you express your interest in the creator’s videos and indicate that you want to receive notifications whenever they upload new content.

File:Logo of YouTube (2015-2017).svg - Wikimedia Commons

Subscribing to a channel offers several benefits. Firstly, it allows you to easily access the creator’s content from your subscriptions feed, which aggregates videos from all the channels you’ve subscribed to. This way, you can stay up to date with the latest videos and never miss out on new uploads from your favorite creators. Additionally, subscribing to a channel shows support for the creator, as the number of subscribers plays a role in the visibility and success of a channel.

On the other hand, a YouTube membership goes beyond a simple subscription. Memberships are a paid feature introduced by YouTube to provide creators with an additional way to engage with their audience and offer exclusive perks. When a creator establishes a membership program, they can set up different tiers at various price points, each offering unique benefits to members.

By becoming a member of a channel, you gain access to exclusive content and privileges not available to regular subscribers. This can include members-only videos, behind-the-scenes footage, live streams, or early access to videos before they are released to the public. Memberships often come with special badges or emojis that members can use in live chats to stand out and show their support. Some creators may also provide merchandise discounts or personalized shoutouts as a way to reward their members.

It’s important to note that YouTube memberships are not the same as subscriptions. While subscriptions are free and available to all users, memberships involve a monthly fee set by the creator. Memberships provide a more intimate and interactive experience between creators and their most dedicated fans, allowing for a closer connection and offering exclusive perks in return for their financial support.

Difference Between YouTube Subscriptions and Memberships

Subscriptions: Connecting with Creators

What are YouTube Subscriptions?

YouTube subscriptions allow viewers to stay updated with their favorite content creators’ channels. By subscribing to a channel, viewers receive notifications whenever new videos are uploaded by that creator. Subscribing to a channel also makes it easier to find the creator’s content, as it appears in the subscription feed.

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How to Subscribe to a YouTube Channel?

Subscribing to a YouTube channel is a simple process. When you find a channel that interests you, click on the “Subscribe” button below the video or on the channel’s main page. Once subscribed, you become part of the creator’s subscriber count.

Benefits of YouTube Subscriptions

Subscribing to a YouTube channel offers several benefits:

  • Notifications: Subscribers receive notifications whenever the creator uploads a new video, ensuring they don’t miss any content.
  • Subscriber-only Updates: Creators can provide exclusive updates and announcements to their subscribers, fostering a sense of community.
  • Supporting Creators: Subscriptions demonstrate support for creators, motivating them to continue producing high-quality content.

Memberships: Exclusive Access and Benefits

What are YouTube Memberships?

YouTube memberships are a feature that allows creators to offer exclusive content, perks, and benefits to their subscribers in exchange for a recurring monthly fee. This fee is set by the creator and provides access to special features not available to regular subscribers.

How to Become a YouTube Member?

To become a YouTube member, viewers need to subscribe to a creator’s channel and join their membership program. Membership options are displayed on the creator’s channel, along with the associated perks and pricing. Viewers can choose the membership level that suits them best and complete the sign-up process.

Exclusive Benefits of YouTube Memberships

YouTube memberships provide subscribers with unique advantages:

  • Exclusive Content: Members gain access to members-only videos, behind-the-scenes footage, and other exclusive content that regular subscribers cannot view.
  • Badges and Emojis: Members receive custom badges and emojis that can be used in live chats and comments, distinguishing them as valued supporters of the creator.
  • Member-only Community: Creators can create a private community where members can interact with each other and the creator, fostering a sense of belonging.


YouTube Subscriptions:

500+ Free Subscribe Images as Logo, Buttons & Png Photos - Pixabay

YouTube subscriptions are a way for users to stay connected with their favorite YouTube channels. By subscribing to a channel, users indicate their interest in following and staying updated with the content produced by that specific creator. When a user subscribes to a channel, they receive notifications about new videos uploaded by the creator and can easily access the channel’s content from their subscription feed. Subscriptions are free for all users and are a fundamental feature of YouTube. They allow users to show support for their favorite creators and stay engaged with their latest videos, playlists, and community updates.

When you subscribe to a channel, the creator benefits from having a larger subscriber count, which can boost their visibility and potentially attract more viewers. Subscribing to a channel also helps YouTube’s algorithm understand your interests, which can lead to better recommendations tailored to your preferences. Additionally, subscribing to a channel enables users to participate in the channel’s community through comments, likes, and shares.

YouTube Memberships:

YouTube memberships, also known as channel memberships or YouTube Sponsorships, are an additional feature offered by YouTube that allows creators to offer exclusive perks and content to their most dedicated fans. Unlike subscriptions, memberships are not free and involve a monthly fee set by the creator. Creators can set up multiple tiers of membership at different price points, each offering its own set of benefits.

When users become members of a creator’s channel, they gain access to exclusive content that is not available to regular subscribers. This content can include members-only videos, behind-the-scenes footage, bonus clips, early access to videos, or extended versions of existing content. Members may also receive special recognition in the form of badges or emojis that they can use in live chats, exclusive live streams, shoutouts, or direct interactions with the creator. Some creators may also offer merchandise discounts or other perks as part of their membership program.

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The paid nature of YouTube memberships allows creators to generate revenue directly from their most dedicated fans and reward them for their support. It can be seen as a way for creators to offer a more intimate and personalized experience to their most loyal followers while providing them with extra value for their financial contribution.

In summary, YouTube subscriptions are free and allow users to follow channels and receive updates, while YouTube memberships are paid and offer exclusive perks and content to members who choose to join a creator’s paid membership program. Both features contribute to the overall YouTube experience, with subscriptions being a way to stay connected with channels of interest and memberships providing additional benefits and rewards for dedicated fans.


FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: Can I subscribe to a channel without becoming a member?

A: Yes, subscriptions and memberships are separate. Subscribing to a channel does not automatically make you a member.

Q: Do I need to pay for YouTube subscriptions?

A: No, subscriptions are free. They allow you to receive notifications and easily access a creator’s content.

Q: Are memberships available for all channels?

A: No, memberships are an optional feature that creators can choose to enable if they meet certain requirements.

Q: Can I cancel my YouTube membership at any time?

A: Yes, you have the flexibility to cancel your membership at any time by managing your YouTube settings.

Q: Do YouTube memberships replace subscriptions?

A: No, memberships are an additional feature that creators can offer to subscribers. Subscriptions remain the primary way to stay updated with a channel.

Q: Can I have multiple YouTube memberships?

A: Yes, you can be a member of multiple channels and enjoy the exclusive benefits provided by each creator.


By subscribing to a channel, viewers show their support and express their interest in the content produced by a particular creator. This action not only helps creators gauge their audience size but also encourages them to continue producing high-quality content. Subscriptions also enable viewers to build a personalized feed of content from their subscribed channels, making it convenient to access all their preferred content in one place.

On the other hand, YouTube memberships offer an additional layer of benefits and exclusive perks to viewers who choose to become members of specific channels. These memberships often require a recurring fee, which varies depending on the creator and the level of membership chosen. By becoming a member, viewers gain access to exclusive content, such as behind-the-scenes footage, early access to videos, special merchandise, or members-only live streams.

In summary, YouTube subscriptions and memberships serve distinct but complementary purposes. Subscriptions facilitate viewers’ connection to their favorite creators, keeping them updated on new content, while memberships offer exclusive perks and benefits for a more intimate relationship between creators and their dedicated fans. By recognizing and utilizing the differences between subscriptions and memberships, both viewers and creators can make the most of these features on YouTube, fostering a vibrant and engaging community on the platform.

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