YouTube has announced it will be discontinuing paid content on December 1, 2017, focusing its attention instead on giving gaming creators more access to sponsorships.
In a post on its creator resource page, the video-sharing site detailed its shuttering schedule, which, as of Tuesday, blocked users from creating new paid content on its site.
At the same time, new viewers became blocked from paying to subscribe to creator content; however, the company said existing paid channels or videos will continue to show until the discontinuation date.
From the first of November, viewers will no longer be charged for existing subscriptions, and YouTube said it will be sending subscribers of paid content an email notification a month prior to them being switched off.
By December 1, 2017, all paid content will automatically be made private, the company said.
“You have full control over keeping these videos private or making them public (as free videos to watch),” the statement reads.
Individual videos purchased by viewers will not be removed, however. YouTube said users will be able to access these until December 1, 2022, as the company’s purchase terms already stipulate access until this time.
The changes do not apply to YouTube Red Originals, Google Play Movies/TV, or Live PPV, it added.
The site touted the changes to the paid service that it launched in 2013 as a redistribution of its resources.
“Over the past few years we’ve released a number of new programmes, like Super Chat and YouTube Red, to give creators more ways to monetise their content,” YouTube explained.
“We recently announced that we’ll be opening up sponsorships to more YouTube gaming creators, which lets their fans support them directly with monthly payments. It’s important to focus our resources on improving these programmes, so we’ve decided to deprecate paid channel subscriptions and paid content offerings.”
At the same time, YouTube opened its YouTube Gaming Sponsorships program, with another post from the company calling it a “new way to earn extra money on your channel and better help you connect with your fans”.
With sponsorships, fans can purchase digital goods directly from certain channels and also support the creator with a monthly $4.99 subscription. They also receive “perks” such as custom emojis and badges.
Sponsors also get exclusive live chat access and immunity from slow mode.
In April, the company announced a change to its YouTube Partner Program — which it launched 10 years ago — stopping creators from turning on the monetisation function until they hit 10,000 lifetime views on the channel.
At the time, YouTube said the new threshold gave the company enough information to determine the validity of a channel, as it flagged concerns over pirated or impersonated content as its main reason.
“Today, more creators are making a living on YouTube than ever before. However, with this growth we’ve started seeing cases of abuse where great, original content is re-uploaded by others who try to earn revenue from it,” YouTube wrote in April.
Just over a year ago, a number of high-profile YouTubers exited the platform after being told their content — including “vulgar language”, “violence”, and “controversial or sensitive subjects and events” — was not “advertiser-friendly”, Mashable reported.
After a number of discussions with advertisers, the company in June said it would allow them to have greater control over where their adverts are placed, and to make content creators aware of what can and cannot make them money.