Starting tomorrow, YouTube will give both fans and creators the ability to gift paid channel subscriptions. A number of influential streamers the announcement today, many of whom were ecstatic about a new tool. Gifted subs have been a popular feature on Twitch — YouTube Gaming’s main rival— for a while. Many streamers see subscriptions as an easy way to generate revenue while also . But YouTube has dragged its heels on releasing the much-anticipated feature for some time. Finally, YouTube Japan tested the waters with gifted memberships earlier this year for a select number of channels. Gifted memberships — which is still in beta — will now be available to all YouTube Gaming users in the US and UK.
Fans normally pay $4.99 per month for , which allow them to access user badges, emotes and other exclusive content by their favorite creators. YouTube Gaming has released a number of other Twitch-like features this year, such as , which allow streamers to send fans to other streams or premieres.
While Twitch remains the biggest US-based platform for livestreaming, a number of its high-profile streamers have in recent years for YouTube Gaming. And there may be more to follow. Bloomberg reported last month that Twitch partners will get a from subscriptions (50 percent from 70 percent) under a new monetization model by the Amazon-owned platform. YouTube Gaming takes only of a streamer’s revenue from channel subscriptions. While YouTube Gaming doesn’t have as big of an audience as Twitch, that could easily change if more popular Twitch creators leave for greener pastures.