This story was originally published and last updated .
Last year, YouTube launched channel memberships as a bid to woo creators away from other platform-building sites such as Patreon and drive more revenue. But memberships can't be worth anything if there aren't any members, so for the second time this year, the Google-owned video sharing site is now offering free membership to YouTube Premium subscribers in several countries.
Some in Brazil, Ireland, Japan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom who pay for Premium — that includes those on individual, student, or family plans, but excludes free trial users and non-managing family users — will be randomly given one free month of membership up to once per month to any channel that offers tiers up to €4.99, £4.99, or a local equivalent that can be redeemed from November 9 to December 31.
Eligible customers should be able to go to their favorite channel, press "Join," and, if the tier is priced appropriately, see corresponding text noting that the membership is free for one month. Creators will receive the same revenue from free memberships that they would get from a paid membership — the cost of the membership minus a 30% cut.
Publishers are able to offer private benefits to members as well as custom emoji and a special live chat badge at multiple tiers.
If you feel like this perk has been around for a while, you'd be sort of correct: we reported on the same promotion in May — it originally was supposed to expire May 31, but was later extended until June 30. But even before then, Android Police has fielded screenshots since the beginning of the year from people who have spotted promotional prompts about free channel memberships for Premium users.
After people reported problems with redeeming the membership, YouTube confirmed to 9to5Google that the offer was accidentally rolled out as part of a test. Late in April, viewers started reporting that the perk had started going out again and that free memberships were being validated.
Amazon-owned Twitch also gives viewers who have Amazon Prime a free, recurring subscription to their favorite channel.
This story has been updated with the latest promotion for November and December, 2020.