If you’ve spent time watching videos from content creators on YouTube, you’ve likely seen a shiny version of the YouTube logo proudly displayed in the background. This is a YouTube Play Button, an award given by the platform to creators who have achieved certain milestones.
It’s a benchmark of success for YouTubers, as it tells other creators and viewers that their content is popular and worth a watch. Whether you’re looking to start a new channel or grow the one you currently have, you may be wondering how to get one of these creator awards. If so, keep reading to find out how you can get your very own Play Button Creator Award!
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.
How to Order a Play Button?
You will be able to order a Play Button Creator Award once you’ve achieved one of the subscriber milestones outlined above. You can order your play button following these steps:
Steps 1: Open the email you’ll receive from YouTube acknowledging your achievement.
Steps 2: Take the code within the email and copy it into the YouTube Creator Awards redemption website.
Steps 3: Enter the name of your channel and your shipping information.
Steps 4: Click ‘order now’!
How Long Does it Take to Get a YouTube Play Button?
Typically, your Play Button Creator Award should arrive within 2-3 weeks (according to YouTube). Failing to respond to the delivery company or not paying customs or taxes and duties can cause delays in delivery. You can find further information about the official redemption process here.
8 Tips to Get Your First YouTube Play Button
1. Target Your Niche
YouTube is saturated with channels, which means to make an impact and achieve your first subscriber milestone, you need to stand out. One way to do this is by focusing on a niche. This is what sets you apart from other content creators on the platform.
For example, if you want to make travel content, you could focus on low-budget holidays for couples in Europe – rather than just generic travel. Finding your niche helps you tap into a dedicated audience that is looking for your specific content. A dedicated audience will give a greater engagement rate and help you to get your first YouTube Play Button faster.
2. 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.
3. Be Consistent in Uploading
Consistency is key to success in almost any pursuit, including getting a YouTube Play Button. When it comes to your channel, how much you post matters as much as the time you post. For starters, we recommend posting at least once a week. This helps to keep your channel active on a regular basis, which looks better in the eyes of the YouTube algorithm.
Plus, success is built on good habits, which require consistency. To ensure that you post regularly, plan your content in advance, as this will help to take the pressure off. Finally, be consistent with when you publish your content so your audience knows when to expect your videos each week and won’t miss one.
4. Make Copyrighted Content
The YouTube community guidelines cover what creators can and can’t do on the platform, including rules around copyright. Infringing on the copyright rules (or using materials that you don’t have the rights to – like a song) will earn you a strike.
Strikes restrict the features that you can use on your account, and they harm your chances of obtaining a Play Button. Not only will original content avoid costly strikes, but it will also perform better on your channel.
When uploading a new video, YouTube has a copyright checker that you can use before publishing. Here are some simple tips for posting original content:
- Have a good understanding of the YouTube community guidelines.
- Only use music that you own or royalty-free music.
- Get permission or permits to use music or footage that is protected by copyright.
5. Keep Your Account Secure and Protected
Your YouTube account is like any of your other social media channels – you want to keep it as safe as possible. Given that you want to grow your channel, you should take extra precautions. YouTube’s recommended safety tips are as follows:
- Have a strong password and change it regularly.
- Look out for any unusual activity on your account (like scams) and report it immediately.
- Use two-step verification for added safety.
6. Improve Your Channel’s Viewership
The more views you can get, the more subscribers you’re likely to generate. The best way to increase your viewership is to use the YouTube algorithm to your advantage. Here are some strategies that you can use to optimize your videos:
- Have an eye-catching title that contains a keyword relevant to your niche.
- Tag your video with similar keywords to that in your title.
- Make an engaging thumbnail with key text and relevant images.
- Break your video into titled chapters and include these chapters in your description.
- Make the first 30 seconds engaging and offer a hook that encourages viewers to watch your video in full.
- Have a brief but detailed description that contains keywords and relevant links.
- Invite viewers to share your videos with others.
Outside of making quality and engaging original content, these simple strategies will tick the boxes in the eyes of the algorithm, which means that YouTube will push your videos to more people. Provided they watch your content, this cycle will continue to snowball in your favor. YouTube is a momentum game, with most creators starting slow and building more momentum over time. So, be patient and consistent.
7. Use YouTube Analytics
YouTube analytics are a powerful tool in your arsenal. Use the various insights that YouTube analytics offers to gain an understanding of your audience and how they’re responding to your content. The key is to make adjustments when things aren’t working and use this information to determine what is working.
For example, if users aren’t finding your videos through the search function, you may need to update your keywords. One feature available is traffic sources, which allows you to see what your viewers are searching for so you can update the various aspects of your videos accordingly.
Analytics gives you valuable insights into the performance of your videos; ignoring this useful information will harm your chances of growing your channel.
8. 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 to 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 is to get 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 can 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.
The first step on this journey is getting your first YouTube Creator Award. It won’t be easy, and it will certainly take some time and some hard lessons learned, but if you follow the tips in this guide, remain patient, and put the work in, you will be able to get a YouTube Play Button.
Remember, the most important thing to do is to create innovative and original content consistently. This is the foundation of every single successful YouTube creator. Good luck, and hopefully, we’ll see a YouTube Play Button in the background of your videos, too!