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YouTube VidCon announcements: Learning Playlists, Merch Options and More

At today's Industry Keynote at VidCon, YouTube's Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan discussed recent updates and some new features for YouTube Creators.

YouTube is emphasizing social features that let creators connect with their audience like Stories, Premiers, and revenue streams like Super Chat and Super Stickers.

Mohan told Variety earlier this week:
“YouTubers have shared that they want to use YouTube to generate funds and contribute resources for things that are important to them,” Mohan said. “My job as chief product officer is to find ways to make that simpler and easier.”
Here's what's new:

New Learning Playlists

This is a brand new feature that I'm excited about. It's a way to organize educational content, letting you divide a collection of educational videos into chapters around key concepts, starting from beginner to more advanced.

Recommendations are hidden on the watch page, so viewers can focus on the content.

This is currently only available to a "handful" of YouTube's "most  trusted partners", including Khan AcademyTED-EdThe Coding Train and Crash Course.

New features for Channel Memberships

Channels with Memberships enabled can now create member-only videos, in addition to Community posts, and live chats. And now a channel can have up to five membership levels with different pricing and perks.

To enable Memberships, non-gaming channels must be in the YouTube Partner Program and have at least 30,000 subscribers. Gaming channels may be able to enable Memberships with only 1000 subscribers.

YouTube is adding five new Merchandise partners (US Only)

YouTube Partners in the US with the channel merch shelf  enabled will be able create and sell merch from Crowdmade, DFTBA, Fanjoy, Represent, and Rooster Teeth, in addition to Teespring.

The channel merch shelf can be enabled on channels in the YouTube Partner Program with at least 10,000 subscribers and no community guidelines strikes. The new merch partners are only available to US Creators, but Teespring is available in the US, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, and Portugal.

YouTube Giving moves out of Beta (US Only)

YouTube Giving was launched in August 2018 as a way for creators to raise money for US nonprofits. The features include Fundraisers, Community Fundraisers, Campaign Matching and Super Chat for Good.

Viewers and fans can donate to charities directly by clicking a Donate button, right on the participating channel.

Now the program is moving out of beta and will become available to "thousands" of Creators in the US over the coming months.