YouTube Premium is the paid version of the ever-popular YouTube streaming service that offers ad-free and background playback of videos and music along with offline downloads. A new offer page has been seen by some YouTube Premium subscribers that offers paying viewers one free channel membership per month. Channel memberships are a way for fans to support the creators they like.
The channel member subscriptions start at $4.99 per month, while some of the creators offer different levels that cost additional money. A paid subscriptions give access to things like member-only videos, streams, community posts, or live chats along with custom channel badges and emoji.
The first signs of the new channel subscriptions surfaced in Australia, Canada, Germany, Norway, and Sweden. Some Premium subscribers in those countries have been prompted with an offer for free channel membership while they are browsing YouTube. The page that the prompt takes users to notes that they can "Choose 1 channel this month" and lists current subscriptions that offer memberships.
Fine print on the offer says that it's only on memberships worth up to $5. For channels that offer more costly tier levels, only the base package will be offered. There is a catch with the offer so far, some who were prompted for free memberships report they were charged for the membership anyway.
Reports indicate that those who were charged and reached out to help resources were unable to get help as the perk was unknown to official YouTube customer service personnel. The move could be a good thing for channel operators as the creators get a 70% cut of the membership fees from YouTube. It's unclear when or if the feature will roll out for all YouTube Premium users. YouTube Premium launched in May 2018 as a competitor to challenge Spotify and streaming services.