The YouTube creator awards were established to help recognize the efforts and achievements of creators on the platform. If you want to get your first YouTube play button, you’ll need to hit a certain subscriber milestone before you can be considered.
The nature of the platform depends on a constant stream of content creation, so it makes sense that YouTube recognizes its top performers with a hierarchical award system. Once you breach that first subscriber count requirement, you can continue to work your way up and collect all the YouTube plaques available.
However, with so much competition out there, it’s important to understand the details and form a strategy to help increase your metrics and improve your chances of being awarded a play button.
As of 2022, there are about 15 million active content creators on YouTube—with over 500 hours of content uploaded to the platform every minute, that’s quite a lot of competition to handle! Luckily, we’ve done the work for you and compiled a list of the best tips to help you get started on a strategy.
Different Levels of Play Buttons
To be considered for your first award from YouTube, you must reach a specific subscriber count and adhere to guidelines laid out for creators by the platform. You will see the minimum requirements for each level below.
- Silver play button: 100,000 subscribers
- Gold play button: 1,000,000 subscribers
- Diamond play button: 10 million subscribers
- Red diamond play button: 100 million subscribers
There used to be a custom play button option available to creators with 50 million subscribers. Unfortunately, it was discontinued after a short time, and only three YouTubers ever received one. Creators would have no idea what they looked like until they received them. They were designed to match the channel’s theme and came in all different shapes and sizes.
With the custom option removed, creators can no longer receive an award for 50 million subscribers. Instead, they must leap from 10 million to 100 million for that final red diamond button. Keep reading for everything you need to know about the YouTube creator award program.
YouTube Creator Awards Program
Aside from meeting the required subscriber count, there are a few other criteria points that must be considered before you can be admitted to the YouTube Creator Awards Program:
- An active Google account and YouTube channel with original content uploaded in the last six months.
- No issues with copyright strikes or content guidelines.
- Must adhere to YouTube’s terms of service and advertising guidelines.
- Absolutely no scams, plagiarism, or spam-like content.
- Good standing in the YouTube Partner Program.
- A resident of an eligible country.
Let’s look at some of these in detail to help get you on your way to earning your own spot as a recipient.
1. Avoid Copyright Strikes
Make sure you follow YouTube’s copyright guidelines and don’t publish any videos that contain even a morsel of someone else’s copyrighted content. Not only will your video be removed, but you’ll receive a strike on your account, which bans you from certain creator account features.
If you want to increase your subscribers so you can get your first play button, you need the YouTube algorithm to work in your favor, so make sure you avoid anything that will put any kind of hold on full access to your channel. Be careful, and if you make it to three strikes, your entire account will be terminated.
2. Following Community Guidelines
You should always try to make yourself familiar with YouTube’s community guidelines to prevent yourself from getting into any situation that might get your content banned or removed.
In general, creators are prohibited from making content that:
- Is sexually explicit
- Provokes horror or disgust
- Portrays extreme violence
- Encourages hate or presents dangerous activity
At the end of the day, use your best judgment and if you’re not sure about something, reference the community guidelines or reach out to a rep through your creator portal on YouTube for guidance. No mistake is worth your admission to the coveted Creator Awards Program.
6 Tips to Get Your First YouTube Play Button
While there are other criteria to meet, getting subscribers is probably the biggest hurdle when it comes to getting your first YouTube play button. When you think about it, it’s really the only factor that isn’t in your full control. That’s why we’ve curated a list of the best strategies to help boost your channel and get you your first award.
1. Create Relevant and High-Quality Content
If you want people to subscribe to your YouTube channel, it only makes sense that you provide some type of value in exchange for their viewership. Take the time to get to know your audience, so you can keep your content relatable and engaging.
Different creators might have different standards when it comes to quality, and that’s okay. However, you should consider the following if you want to attract more viewers:
- Keep your content unique with relevant personal touches.
- Plan out your videos like a narrative to improve the flow of clips and keep your audience engaged.
- Take your time with editing to get the best final product possible.
Remember, you’re supposed to be providing something of value, so that should always be reflected in the quality of the content you publish.
2. Be Consistent in Uploading
Consistency is key when it comes to any form of content publishing. If you want to improve your discoverability on YouTube, you need to keep a regular posting schedule. Of course, that is usually easier said than done because we all have our off days, and sometimes work takes longer than planned.
The most important thing here is planning your high-value content ahead of time, so your channel always stays active and new subscribers can find you.
3. Make Copyrighted Content
As previously mentioned, you should do everything in your power to avoid getting a copyright strike. If you’re using music, make sure there is no claim to copyright on any clips in your content.
When you pay attention to this, you’ll improve your reputation and grow your channel subscribers at a faster rate since you won’t have to worry about any restrictions getting put onto your account.
4. Improve Your Channel’s Viewership
Before you can get someone to subscribe to your channel, you have to get their eyes on your content. Once you have some solid videos ready to publish, focus on optimizing them for the algorithm. There are a few different strategies to do this:
- Use targeted keywords in video titles, descriptions, and tags.
- Design a custom thumbnail with attractive text.
- Choose the most relevant category for each video.
5. Use YouTube Analytics
If you really want to boost subscriber activity, you should take advantage of YouTube analytics. Using different tools, you’ll be able to gain insight into what content viewers are responding to most. It’ll also help you with your post timing since you can use analytics to evaluate peak levels of engagement.
As we mentioned earlier, knowing your audience is key, and it’s important to continue to evaluate your channel performance over time. The more you stay on top of this, the better chances you have at retaining your subscribers and attracting new ones.
6. Grow Your Subscriber Count
At the end of the day, the most difficult aspect of earning your first YouTube creator award is reaching that subscriber threshold. While all of the above tips will help increase your count, it always takes longer to increase your metrics organically.
If you follow the other parameters set forth by the platform, all you need to reach your creator goals are more subscribers. Since that usually takes a little while to build up, it’s important to employ alternative strategies to increase your subscriber count.
Luckily, Media Mister is a leading social media provider with access to real accounts and a proven track record. Creators buy YouTube subscribers from us because of our high retention rate and money-back guarantee.
We know how much time and effort you put into content creation, so let us help you get the recognition it deserves. Contact the team at Media Mister to improve your visibility and reach your content creator goals.
With over five billion videos being watched on YouTube every day, the opportunity for content creators is huge. However, it isn’t as simple as uploading a few videos to your channel if you want to experience real success on the platform.
If you’re ready to get your first YouTube play button, all you need to do is implement the tips listed above. Start out with whatever is most convenient and work your way through them as you wish. Don’t worry too much about what you can’t control, and just focus your efforts on what you can do to boost your channel and get closer to your first award.