YouTube Play Buttons
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. 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 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.
- 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.
When a verified YouTuber 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 the more subscribers the channel gets.
There are currently three different tiers of rewards, plus a fourth that has been awarded only twice:
- The Silver Play Button, 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 name's embossed on it.
- The Gold Play Button, for channels that reach or surpass 1,000,000 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 name's embossed on it.
- The Diamond Play Button, for channels that reach or surpass 10,000,000 subscribers. It is made of silver-plated metal inset with a large piece of crystal in the shape of a play button triangle.
- The Custom Play Button, for channels that reach or surpass 50,000,000 subscribers. On December 18, 2016, YouTuber PewDiePie was the first YouTuber to receive a red trophy as a gift for reaching 50,000,000 subscribers. He then called it a "ruby play button," even though YouTube never officially named the award, and it is not a "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. 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. T-Series is the second YouTube channel to pass 50 million subscribers milestone, and received a custom play button on September 11, 2018. The T-Series play button displays the letter T, and is made with transparent glass. Although the name "Ruby Play Button" is still widely used, the fact that T-Series received a glass trophy indicates that each channel that reaches 50 million subscribers will receive a customized award, not necessarily red in color.
The YouTube Rewind series features a special "rewind" version of the Play Button, starting with YouTube Rewind: What Does 2013 Say?.
Additionally, in light of PewDiePie vs T-Series, it has been predicted that any channel surpassing 100,000,000 subscribers will receive an award.
- "YouTube Creator Rewards". YouTube. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- Weiss, Geoff (February 6, 2018). "YouTube On 'Play Button' Awards: "Not All Creators Who Apply Will Receive Awards" - Tubefilter". Tubefilter. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
- Alexander, Julia (February 2, 2018). "YouTube says 'not all creators who apply' for Creator Awards will receive them". Polygon. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
- "Channel membership eligibility on YouTube Gaming. - YouTube Gaming Help". YouTube Gaming Help. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
- Alexander, Julia (June 21, 2018). "YouTube partners with Teespring to help creators sell official merchandise". Polygon. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
- "YouTube Creator Hub". YouTube. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
- "What is the Gold Play Button REALLY Made Of?". YouTube. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
- "What is the NEW Silver Play Button REALLY made of?!". YouTube. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
- Acuna, Kirsten (July 19, 2012). "YouTube Is Rewarding Its Most Popular Users With Gold". Business Insider. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- Cohen, Joshua (June 29, 2012). "YouTube Gives 24-Karat Gold 'Play Button' to Channels with 1M+ Subs". Tubefilter. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- Brouwer, Bree (July 24, 2015). "YouTube Gives New Diamond Play Button To Channels With 10 Million Subscribers". Tubefilter. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- Dillon, Poppy (August 3, 2015). "YouTube Announced Diamond Play Button". TenEighty. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- "PewdiePie's video on receiving the award". Retrieved May 1, 2017.
- "YouTube Sends PewDiePie Custom Ruby Play Button To Commemorate 50 Million Subscribers". TubeFilter. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
- Keem, Daniel [@KEEMSTAR] (September 11, 2018). "YouTube awarded @TSeries with a 50 Million Play Button" (Tweet). Retrieved September 30, 2018 – via Twitter.