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YouTube Play Buttons

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YouTube Play Buttons, a part of the YouTube Creator Rewards, act as recognition by YouTube of its most popular channels.[1]

These are distinct from the YouTube Awards, which were intended to recognize the best quality videos. YouTube Creator Rewards are based on a channel's subscriber count, but are awarded 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.[1] 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.[2][3]

Benefits and awards[edit]

Benefit levels[edit]

These levels do not include awards, but offer alternative benefits instead:

  • Graphite, for channels that have fewer than 1,000 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 YouTube Gaming channels can also enable channel membership.[4]
  • Bronze, for channels that reach or surpass 10,000 subscribers. If a channel is monetized, this level adds a Teespring monetization option, which is only visible in the United States.[5]


When a verified YouTuber reaches a specific milestone and is deemed eligible for a YouTube Creator Reward,[1] 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 the more subscribers the channel gets.[6]

There are currently three different tiers of rewards,[1] plus a fourth that has been awarded only twice:

  1. YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg The Silver Play Button, for channels that reach or surpass 100,000 subscribers. The old version was made of nickel-plated cupronickel alloy.[7] The new version (as of March 1, 2017) is 92% nickel, 5% carbon and 2.5% zinc, with traces of other metals.[8] 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.[9]
  2. YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg The Gold Play Button, for channels that reach or surpass 1 million subscribers. It is made of gold-plated brass.[7] 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 name's embossed on it.[9][10][11]
  3. YouTube Diamond Play Button.svg The Diamond Play Button, for channels that reach or surpass 10 million subscribers. It is made of silver-plated metal inset with a large piece of crystal in the shape of a play button triangle.[12][13] There are currently 374 channels that have reached this level.[14]
  4. YouTube Ruby Play Button 2.svg The Custom Play Button, for channels that reach or surpass 50 million subscribers. There are currently three channels that have reached this level:[14]
  • PewDiePie was the first YouTuber to achieve 50,000,000 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. It is not referenced in the Creators Award page.[15][16]
  • T-Series was the second YouTube channel to achieve 50,000,000 subscribers. The company received its Custom Play Button on September 11, 2018.[17] This award features the letter T, made with transparent glass.[18] Unlike PewDiePie's reward, the color is of glass trophy indicates that each channel that reaches 50 million subscribers will receive a customized award, not necessarily red in color.
  • 5-Minute Crafts reached 50 million subscribers in February 2019. It has yet to receive a Custom Play Button.


The YouTube Rewind series features a special "rewind" version of the Play Button, starting with YouTube Rewind: What Does 2013 Say?.


  1. ^ a b c d "YouTube Creator Rewards". YouTube. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  2. ^ Weiss, Geoff (February 6, 2018). "YouTube On 'Play Button' Awards: "Not All Creators Who Apply Will Receive Awards" - Tubefilter". Tubefilter. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  3. ^ Alexander, Julia (February 2, 2018). "YouTube says 'not all creators who apply' for Creator Awards will receive them". Polygon. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  4. ^ "Channel membership eligibility on YouTube Gaming. - YouTube Gaming Help". YouTube Gaming Help. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  5. ^ Alexander, Julia (June 21, 2018). "YouTube partners with Teespring to help creators sell official merchandise". Polygon. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  6. ^ "YouTube Creator Hub". YouTube. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  7. ^ a b "What is the Gold Play Button REALLY Made Of?". YouTube. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  8. ^ "What is the NEW Silver Play Button REALLY made of?!". YouTube. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  9. ^ a b "YouTube's silver and gold play buttons are getting a new look". SocialBladeBlog. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  10. ^ Acuna, Kirsten (July 19, 2012). "YouTube Is Rewarding Its Most Popular Users With Gold". Business Insider. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  11. ^ Cohen, Joshua (June 29, 2012). "YouTube Gives 24-Karat Gold 'Play Button' to Channels with 1M+ Subs". Tubefilter. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  12. ^ Brouwer, Bree (July 24, 2015). "YouTube Gives New Diamond Play Button To Channels With 10 Million Subscribers". Tubefilter. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  13. ^ Dillon, Poppy (August 3, 2015). "YouTube Announced Diamond Play Button". TenEighty. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  14. ^ a b "Top 500 Subscribed YouTube Channels (Sorted by Subscriber Count)". Social Blade. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  15. ^ "PewdiePie's video on receiving the award". Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  16. ^ "YouTube Sends PewDiePie Custom Ruby Play Button To Commemorate 50 Million Subscribers". TubeFilter. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  17. ^ Keem, Daniel [@KEEMSTAR] (September 11, 2018). "YouTube awarded @TSeries with a 50 Million Play Button" (Tweet). Retrieved September 30, 2018 – via Twitter.
  18. ^