Merch Shelf’s coming to Europe.
Over the summer, in an effort to keep its agitated content creator community away from Patreon, Twitch, and Instagram/Snapchat, YouTube unveiled several ‘new’ (i.e., outright copied) features.
Twitch’s Channel Memberships allow subscribers to sponsor their favorite channel for $4.99 a month. They receive unique badges, exclusive livestreams, members-only posts, and emojis. YouTube keeps a hefty 30% cut.
Instagram/Snapchat Stories Premieres allow creators to pre-record videos as a “live moment” for subscribers. Followers can view featured videos multiple times on a special landing page.
Patreon’s Merch Shelf allows channels with over 10,000 subscribers to sell over 20 merchandise items through a single third-party supplier – Teespring. The popular video platform once again takes a significant cut.
Now, in an attempt to keep international creators away from rival platforms, YouTube has rolled out the feature across the Atlantic.
Praising the success of its Merch Shelf platform, the video platform is pointing to ‘early adopters’ that have seen an increase in sales – Lucas the Spider, Aphmau, and Phil De Franco. Aphmau fans, for example, have bought almost 1,000 plushies, pillows, and blankets over the past two months. Lucas The Spider apparently sold $1 million worth of plushies.
Remember – only 3.5% of all content creators around the world earn enough to surpass the US federal poverty line. The featured ‘early adopters’ highlight this very sad fact.
YouTube will now roll out Merch Shelf to around 10,000 creators in Europe. This includes channels in France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, Portugal, and Spain.
Chris Lamontagne, Vice President at Teespring, offered merchandise as a hopeful solution to existing monetization issues. That’s been a prevailing theme, with YouTube aggressively pointing to creator upside and opportunity, despite low per-stream payouts.
“This expansion demonstrates Teespring’s continued dedication to providing creators with a platform on which they can grow their businesses, supports their passion, and delivers products their communities love. As statistics show traffic on the Merch Shelf overtaking YouTube’s standard description links, we are confident the Merch Shelf will support the success of creators across the globe.”
Featured image by Håkan-Dahlström (CC by 2.0).