What Is YouTube Super Chat And How To Monetize It?

01 July 2021
Youtube icon block design

Content creators on YouTube have always been fighting an uphill battle concerning the platform’s monetization mechanisms. Nevertheless, there have also been significant efforts to help regular YouTubers monetize their content. One of these is YouTube Super Chat. The functionality is simple. When someone goes live on YouTube, viewers have the option to support them by donating money to the user.

The upside for the viewer? Their comment gets pinned in the chat and is likely to be read out by the YouTuber as a way of saying thanks. The higher the donation, the longer the comment stays pinned in the comments section, sometimes for up to 5 hours, making it a win-win situation for all the parties involved.

These messages are called Super Chats, and are visible to anyone viewing the live stream. The Super Chat is always in a different color to regular messages in the chat making it easily distinguishable to the creator and other viewers alike.

What Is YouTube Super Chat?

YouTube Super Chat is a great way to monetize your channel for all the effort you put in while simultaneously engaging audiences further. Viewers who wish to contribute to a creator during a live stream can donate as much as they like in the range of $1 to $500 along with a comment. The platform then goes out of its way to reward the contributor by pinning the comment to the top of the chat, holding in higher regard concerning other unpaid comments, so to speak.

As one of the key tenets of YouTube is building a community online, the Super Chat feature is invaluable to content creators on the platform.

Especially in 2020, with viewers confined to their homes, the demand for regular content was higher than it’s ever been! The Super Chat offers creators an incentive to go live and constantly engage with their audiences in exchange for monetary rewards. Through this feature, they gamify the chat section allowing creators to flaunt their most loyal and generous fans as they compete for your attention.

Two white chat boards

Access To Super Chat And How To Use It

Just like regular YouTube monetization, not all YouTubers have access to this feature. Certain criteria must be passed before a channel is deemed eligible for the Super Chat feature. To break it down, the basic requirements are:

  • The channel must be monetized
  •  The user must be 18 years or older
  • The user must be in one of the available locations

The live chat settings need to be manually enabled to be able to receive Super Chats. If the channel is “made for kids” or posts age-restricted content, it is ineligible for Super Chats.

The steps to turn on Super Chat are simple. Upon entering the YouTube Studio, the user needs to select the ‘Monetization’ option from the navigation menu. Enable ‘Supers’ and access this dashboard for all the necessary data for recent donations, amounts, and comments.

Bonus read! Get your YouTube channel the eyeballs it needs with tips from our blog: 10 YouTube Marketing Tips for High Ranking Videos.

Rusted lock on blue wall

The Super Chat Revenue Model

Super fans, as mentioned earlier, can donate anywhere between $1 and $500. The higher the contribution, the longer the comment stays pinned. The highest possible contribution of $500 keeps the comment pinned for 5 hours, gradually decreasing from thereon. $300 = 3hours, $200 = 2 hours, and so on. All donations are forwarded to the YouTuber’s Google Ads account.

The entire amount isn’t forwarded to the creator though. Between YouTube and Google, a fee of 30% is charged on all contributions, and 70% is paid to the YouTuber’s account. For every $500 earned through Super Chat, the user earns $350. This information is mentioned in the Super Chat Terms & Conditions, stating that Google retains the remainder.

As most users contribute through online payment gateways, this amount also accounts for all the credit card processing fees that YouTube has to pay to the credit card companies. One way to get around this is to host a YouTube live stream and embed it on a website with a Paypal payment link. This, however, is tedious, not secure, and doesn’t benefit the YouTuber’s channel in the long run.

Get everything you need to know about the earning potential with YouTube, in our blog here: Discover the Huge Earning Potential For YouTube Content Creator.

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Pros & Cons Of Super Chat

While there are several benefits of YouTube Super Chat with increased loyalty, additional revenue streams, an incentive for live streaming, and greater user engagement, it does come with its share of downsides.

There is no way to verify that all contributors are over 18 years of age. With access to their debit cards or their parent’s credit cards, viewers can create an account and start paying. While the system doesn’t allow creators below 18 to accept Super Chats, it is hard to regulate those viewing and contributing.

Read about growing your YouTube channel organically, in our blog: How to get organic subscribers on Your YouTube Channel.

We then come to the biggest online issue in the 21st century – trolling. We’ve seen trolls, inappropriate comments, and hate messages in the comments section of posts and videos. With videos being live-streamed, it is hard to regulate the negative comments in real-time and flag them. Some users pay Super Chats just to air their hate in the pinned section. As these pop up live on the screen, they also ruin the viewing experience for others.

Apart from the toxicity of vile comments, in some ways, Super Chat goes against what YouTube stands for. While attempting to foster a sense of togetherness between creators and communities, the Super Chat puts some viewers on a pedestal above other viewers rather than making the experience more democratic.

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Using Super Chats To Build Your Audience

All contributors on Super Chats are super fans. They show their love for their favorite creators through tangible monetary rewards. This provides big creators and influencers to connect with their fans in a meaningful way without seeming too distant or out of reach. It allows users to go above and beyond traditional YouTube comments and gain a foot-up with their online heroes.

For smaller broadcasters, it allows them to grow their audience by being more sincere and engaging through Super Chats. Like any business, the better the service, the more likely users are willing to come back and pay for the service again. It also spreads the word and helps attract new viewers in a way that traditional videos can’t.

Creators are meant to treat contributors better by thanking them, mentioning them, reading out their comments, and engaging with them. The whole game is about making them feel like they’ve gotten their money’s worth and cognitively grow in their subconscious as a value creator.

Read our blog to learn more about, How to promote your YouTube Channel.

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Super Chats For Influencer Marketing

One industry where Super Chat has taken off is gaming. It offers gamers the perfect two-step opportunity to live-stream themselves gaming and garnering Super Chats, and then editing it to make a shorter version to be posted on their YouTube channel for posterity. Other creators also follow this approach to garner more monetary benefits.

With direct financial rewards and all the required data on engagement and other YouTube metrics, it is an invaluable marketing avenue for brands. Brands come on board to sponsor live streams and creators to promote their products and services to their fans. It lets the brand know just how engaged the fans are.

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Fundraising Through Super Chats

2020 was the year when most businesses got flipped on their head, globally, through the pandemic. Several people and brands came together to rally around those who needed the help, financially and emotionally. While traditional fundraising in the real-world takes time, effort, resources, and planning, YouTube Super Chat emerged as a real tool for good by eliminating all the stress and providing users with an easier way to pay and reward the causes they like.

One example is the World Famous Comedy Store in Hollywood, which hosted a 3-hour comedy show with some of the biggest names in the industry, live-streamed to raise funds for comedians struggling to find work with live shows not happening anymore. The effort raised over $100k throughout the event and all that was needed to pull it off was a stable internet connection.

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YouTube Super Chat is a quick, easy and effective method to monetize content on the platform by directly engaging with the fans. It gives creators all the benefits of a live performance but with the ability to reach every phone or laptop in the world from the comfort of their home. It allows supporters to feel special and encourages them to contribute to the channel’s cause to keep the relationship between creators and the community symbiotic and long-lasting.

Get our Ultimate Guide To Becoming A YouTube Content Creator, to learn more.


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