YouTube said last year that it was planning to launch Twitch-style channel membership gifting, where flush-with-cash viewers can buy channel subscriptions for their fellow fans. Now it’s rolling the feature out as a test.

From today, channel memberships gifting will be available for “a small group of creators” that will gradually expand over time. The memberships include a month of perks: loyalty badges and custom emoji to use in chat for example.

The way it will work is this: someone can click on a ‘$’ button next to the chat window on a YouTube livestream, and buy five, 10 or 20 memberships.

They don’t choose who receives them though: “YouTube distributes gift memberships to viewers based on how much they interact with your channel,” explained the company in its blog post for creators.

“Loyal viewers who are always watching and interacting with your content are more likely to receive gift memberships.”

This feature is a decent source of revenue for many Twitch broadcasters, so it could work well on YouTube – including for musicians – as it rolls out more widely.

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