Channel Update. Announcing YouTube Channel Memberships

It’s been an interesting journey.

In the last quarter of 2020 I realised the channel’s average months were paying my rent (sharehouse in a cheap suburb, not including bills/food) and that there was a good history of sustained growth. Additionally, the plague meant I had all the overtime I wanted and could save some money. This got me thinking – can I do content creation full time? I started doing some due diligence.

I clearly wasn’t making enough money to live off. I was fine with a pay cut but I still need around two-thirds of minimum wage to get by and I was making a quarter of that – but I did have a lot of saved up annual and long service leave after 8 years in my 9-5, enough savings to take a risk, and a lot of accumulated burnout at my job.

Last Christmas I made a decision – I’d give myself 3 months to change my mind, and if I didn’t, then I’d throw myself into content creation full time. Spoiler – I didn’t change my mind.

I announced it to my IRL friends on Facebook but it was April 1st and light on details so noone believed me.

I don’t talk about POE to non-POE players and so almost without exception my IRL friends don’t even know that I have a Youtube channel. I’m still waiting for the first time that I’m recognised out-of-context and a non-gaming friend that I’m around gets a surprise.

For tax reasons I put off leaving the old job until the new financial year (July), and then I took it really easy for a while because I needed a break. And hey, I did have 17 weeks of accumulated paid leave.

But, whilst I made no waves about it at the time, I’ve been doing the channel as my sole ‘work’ for the last 12 weeks and plan to continue. It’s been part time (as in less than 38 hours work a week) so far but a lot of that will change as we hopefully leave the pandemic behind.

I’ve taken some time to learn basic audio editing, learning the basics of DaVinci Resolve, and to put more effort into thumbnails, which are the bane of a Youtuber’s existence.

So what changes can you expect?

First, I’m using my website a little more, – it’s very much a supplement to the Youtube channel and a dumping ground for notes on videos. Not suggesting bookmarking it or anything, but just letting you all know it exists. It’s a very barebones WordPress blog that is on a super budget friendly hosting plan. Not going to have forums or anything due to spam issues. It’s basic but it does what I need it to – provide a way to host small files to accompany videos.

Second, I’ve been streaming more over on Twitch at – I still regard this as a learning experience at the moment. Streaming is intensely distracting and it blows my mind that people like Steelmage, Zizaran, DSLily and Tytykiller (just to name a few) can play at such a high level while streaming. Expect to see me stream more in the future, although my plans are to (in the medium term) be a Youtuber focused on recorded content first, and a streamer second. While I’m learning the ropes though, expect to see lots of deaths.

Third, I’ve had a lot of feedback about the camera. I want to fix it. The underlying issue is not the camera hardware, but is twofold – room lighting, and space. Because of space I have to operate with the overhead light off and using a lamp, which is behind me and in a bad place. What I need is ring lights behind my monitor; this can’t be done with my current desk and room. No short term solution in sight, unfortunately. I planned to move house mid 3.15 but we had a severe COVID outbreak and it’s not really doable at present. Hopefully late November. This is not a promise.

Fourth, and this is the big one. I’m setting up Youtube channel memberships. This is Youtube’s competing product to both Patreon and Twitch subscriptions, a monthly subscription that I get most of the money from and that will come with some perks.

If any of you work at Youtube, PLEASE add the ability for creators to have ad-free viewing as a perk.

The primary reason here is that at my scale, content creation is basically AdSense revenue plus sponsorships plus busking. To be a livable income, I estimate that ad revenue requires about 68-72 thousand watch hours per month (less if you use the most intrusive ad settings but I don’t). I’m getting 30% of that watchtime, and at my size the sorts of products that are willing to do a sponsorship are ones I wouldn’t work with. (Stop asking, pay-to-cheat sites and pay-to-cheat mobile games…)

So to help with the ‘busking’ side, membership tiers are priced at AUD 4/8/20 or whatever Google thinks is a fair equivalent in your country. A large majority of this goes to me.

All tiers get a few emotes and badges, these are cosmetic only and really only matter when I’m either doing a stream or a premiere on Youtube. Members can emote toucans, vaal orbs and things like that. Also as many of you know I have a maths background so there’s also a Mandelbrot set emote.

The $8 and up tiers will sometimes get early access to videos. This won’t be every video and will mostly be limited to videos that I expect to have some lasting appeal to my existing audience. For example in the last month, the Abyss Stacking video would have been early access because it’s still relevant a week later, while the Minotaur guide wouldn’t (that’s mostly for people who are searching Google for a boss guide, not aimed at my subscribers), and the 3.16 first info video wouldn’t because it’s timely.

The $20 a month tier will have priority replying to comments and access to monthly members-only livestreams, which would be a much more chatty atmosphere.

I didn’t want to set up a firm paywall on anything, so I don’t plan member exclusive videos.

There’s also a fourth $50/month tier but that has no extra perks. Obviously don’t sign up for that unless you are making a quarter million a year, but if you are I’ll happily take some of your money.

yes that’s correct, no special bonus for the top tier

Fifth, I’ve looked into channel merchandise. For each market leader in content creator merch stores, I’ve either been underwhelmed with their products or read bad reviews. I’ve found a couple places that do custom printing that I think have good products and price, but I need to solve the dropshipping issue – I’ve never done any sort of ecommerce beyond selling Magic the Gathering cards on Ebay in the 20-naughties. The jacket I’m wearing now is a prototype (although these unfortunately wouldn’t be cheap, likely around USD 59). T-shirts I can do a lot cheaper (likely USD 19 if they feature my own art, or 24-ish if an artist needs a commission) and I’m looking into other prototypes as well.

Sixth and finally, I have set up a Discord. For security reasons I’d rather not post a permanent link here. I’ll occasionally post it on my Youtube community channel, however, so you should see it there.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Channel Update. Announcing YouTube Channel Memberships

  1. zach says:

    Thank you for your help in path of exile, I think you are the goat (greatest of all time)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *