YouTube Creator Awards
YouTube Creator Awards, commonly known as YouTube Play Buttons, are a gift from YouTube that serves to recognize its most popular channels.
These awards are based on a channel's subscriber count, but are offered at the sole discretion of YouTube. Each channel is reviewed before an award is issued, to ensure that the channel follows the YouTube community guidelines. YouTube reserves the right to refuse to hand out a Creator Reward, which it did not previously award to select channels with horror or political content, as well as various critics.
Benefits and awards
These levels do not include physical and announcement awards, but offer alternative benefits instead:
- Graphite, for channels that reach or surpass 100 subscribers.
- Opal, for channels that reach or surpass 1,000 subscribers. It is also one of three requirements to apply to the YouTube Partner Program for monetization, the other two being a minimum of 4,000 total viewer watch hours in the past 12 months and a review of the channel's content to determine eligibility. Channels with monetization can also enable Super Chat, while gaming channels can also enable channel membership.
- Bronze, for channels that reach or surpass 10,000 subscribers. If a channel is monetized, this level adds a Teespring monetization option.
When a verified YouTube channel reaches a specific milestone and is deemed eligible for a YouTube Creator Reward, they are awarded a relatively flat trophy in a metal casing with a YouTube play button symbol. The trophies are of different sizes: each button and plaque gets progressively bigger with the channel's subscriber count.
There are currently three different tiers of rewards, plus a fourth and fifth that have been awarded a few times:
- The Silver Creator Award, for channels that reach or surpass 100,000 subscribers. The old version was made of nickel-plated cupronickel alloy. The new version (as of March 1, 2017) is 92% nickel, 5% carbon and 2.5% zinc, with traces of other metals. In March 2018, the look of the Silver Play Button was updated from a metal button housed within a window box with the channel's name printed on the front glass pane to a cleaner-looking flat designed metal plaque award featuring the channel's name embossed on it. Channels at this level are also eligible to apply for a digital verification badge.
- The Gold Creator Award, for channels that reach or surpass one million subscribers. It is made of gold-plated brass. In March 2018, the look of the Gold Play Button was updated from a metal button housed within a window box with the channel's name printed on the front glass pane to a cleaner-looking flat designed metal plaque award featuring the channel's name embossed on it.
- The Diamond Creator Award, for channels that reach or surpass ten million subscribers. It is made of silver-plated metal inset with a large piece of colorless crystal in the shape of a play button triangle. As of February 2020, there are 566 channels that have reached this level.
- The Custom Creator Award, for channels that reach or surpass 50 million subscribers. It is absent from the Creators Award page. As of March 2020, ten channels have reached this level, including:
- PewDiePie was the first YouTuber to achieve 50 million subscribers, on December 18, 2016. He received a Custom Play Button, which he nicknamed the Ruby Play Button. It was made in the shape of his channel's logo: the front of a hand giving a "bro fist", or a fist bump, stylized to resemble the letter P, and was red in color. It also came with several mini-awards to be gifted to subscribers that had been subscribed the longest and were still active.
- T-Series was the second YouTube channel to achieve 50 million subscribers. The company received its Custom Play Button on September 11, 2018. The award features the letter T engraved inside it via vitrography. T-Series' has a colorless award, in contrast to PewDiePie's ruby-colored award.
- Like Nastya was the 10th YouTube channel to achieve 50 million subscribers, on March 15, 2020. On March 19, 2020, they uploaded a celebration video which features a "custom play button" in form of a cake formed like the YouTube cube, with rainbow-colored dough. It has not been publicly confirmed if the award was the official play button from the YouTube headquarters. 
- Seven other channels have qualified for this award, but have not publicly confirmed the reception of it. This includes 5-Minute Crafts, which qualified in February 2019; three other channels (Cocomelon, SET India and KondZilla), which qualified in June 2019; WWE, which qualified in October 2019; and two more channels (Justin Bieber and Zee Music Company), which qualified in February 2020.
- The Red Diamond Creator Award, for channels that reach or surpass 100 million subscribers. Inspired by the Diamond Creator Award, it features a play button triangle with a large dark red crystal. It is also absent from the Creators Awards page. There are currently two channels that have reached this level:
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Married to @marziapie 💍Revived our love of Minecraft ⛏️ Reached 100 million subscribers on YouTube ✔️ What a month to celebrate and congratulate @PewDiePie 👊
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Hey @TSeries, you might want to make some space on your shelf for something new and shiny...
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