YouTube encourages membership and merchandise sales

Tinuku - YouTube on Thursday said video uploaders with more than 100,000 followers can start paid fan clubs on the service. The unit of Alphabet Inc.'s Google said the move is an investment in reducing reliance on advertisers who provide billions of dollars in revenue each year, but increasingly do not want to be associated with some content.

YouTube has restricted where ads appear on content that advertisers do not want. Rohit Dhawan, senior director of product management at YouTube, said new tools such as membership and expanding merchandise sales are expected to give video producers more control over their business.

Tinuku YouTube encourages membership and merchandise sales

The latest step is "alternative monetization" where YouTube keeps US$1.50 each month out of every US$5 membership. Alternate monetization is a key topic for YouTube staff as they interact with video creators in VidCon is an industry convention in Anaheim, California.

Dhawan says YouTube's goal is to develop a suite of software for creators to manage the relationship of fans and tools needed such as how to send a personalized "happy birthday" video to members. Video creators choose their membership club names and offered facilities that all must be approved by YouTube staff.