Video Monetization

YouTube Super Chat: Transform Your Earnings with Viewer Contributions

By Daniel Kosmala
11 Min Read

Learn More about Video Monetization

YouTube Super Chat

Wish you were making more money from your YouTube live streams

Then you’re in luck. Ways for live streamers to monetize just keep growing and the demand for live content is up. Live streaming market size is expected to grow at an average of 27% between each year until 2029.

What does all this mean? Demand for live-streamed content is getting higher and higher, and you’re just in time to ride that wave. 

Plus, get this: YouTube lets your biggest fans pay to stand out. Yes, using Super Chats, the feature you’re looking to figure out. 

Like Super Stickers and Super Thanks, Super Chat is a not-so-new tool now, but that rise in demand means it has the potential to add to your earnings. This makes it well worth another, more serious look.

So here’s what we’ll do for you today: 

  1. Give you a clear understanding of what Super Chat is, how it works, and how to set it up on your channel, and how users buy Super Chat messages.
  2. Share top tips for encouraging your audience to buy them so you boost your earnings using Super Chat when you go live, PLUS, how you can use chat and Super Stickers for even more success.  

Let’s start!

How Does Super Chat Work? 

If you already know about this feature and just want tips for using it to make more money, skip right ahead

A Super Chat is a paid message that makes a viewer’s comment more colorful and eye-catching than ordinary comments during a live stream. While new comments in the chat stream displace older comments, Super Chats are special and rise to the top of the chat window and are also displayed if you’re using the YouTube app.

YouTube Super Chat Message Costs

The purchase amount determines the duration of the pinned comment. For a $5-message, a comment stays stickied for 2 minutes — through to $500 for 5 hours. For less than $5, a comment still stands out but disappears as usual. The maximum amount that can be spent in one week is $2000 or the USD equivalent in any country.

Note: The maximum dollar value applies to Super Chat, Super Sticker, and Super Thanks features. This means you can receive $2000 from one user for each of these options or a combination of all three in one week.

YouTube Super Chat Example

Basically, live audiences are paying for your attention. (Or maybe just to support you if they’re really nice — probably both.) 

If you’ve ever been on Twitch you’re likely familiar with this concept, as Twitch offers something very similar. 

Super Stickers work the same way, except they’re just — well, a sticker — without the personalized message. But the dollar amount still matches how attention-grabbing they are and how long they last.

Keep Super Stickers in mind because the tips you’ll get further down will work for them as well.

Super Chat Eligibility and the YouTube Partner Program

YouTube has a set of basic eligibility requirements for fan funding. Here’s what you’ll need to be able to this feature:

First, you have to be part of YouTube’s partner program and have an active AdSense account.

To meet the eligibility requirements, you need: 

  • Over 1,000 subscribers. 
  • Over 4,000 hours of watch time on your channel. 
  • To be in an eligible location.

You must also be 18 years old and live in a country or region where Super Chat funding is available. There are over 95 countries that are eligible for user funding. To see if your location is allowed, see this list.

Also, Super Chat is not available for videos that are made for kids, show age-restricted content, or on Premieres and videos with music owned by a third party.

Note: These requirements apply for Super Stickers eligibility.

How to Set Up Super Chats 

If you’ve already ticked all those boxes, follow these steps to enable the feature on your channel: 

  1. Log into YouTube Studio.
  2. In the left menu, click Earn.
  3. In the top menu, click Supers.
  4. Next, click the Get Started button and follow the on-screen instructions which require that you accept the terms and conditions and get started.

Once you are eligible, Super Chat functionality will be available for all future live streams and Premieres. You’ll see Super Chat, Super Stickers, and Super Thanks toggle buttons that are all activated. If you’d like to turn off any of these options, simply click on the toggle button for that feature.

How to Send YouTube Super Chat Messages

You’re likely wondering what people have to do to buy a Super Chat. Well, here’s the easy, 3-step process that they follow:

  1. Click on the dollar icon in chat.
  2. Select Super Chat and enter the amount they would like to send (the color and amount will be pinned at the top of your chat feed based on how much your fan has spent)
  3. Click Buy and Send.
  4. To finish your purchase, users will need to follow the remaining instructions.

Once approved, your fan’s Super Chat message will appear pinned in the chat window above all other live chat messages.

Note: Users will use the same steps to buy Super Stickers.

Super Chat Payment Methods

Super Chat, Super Sticker, and Super Thanks can all be purchased with a credit or debit card. And because Google is no stranger to online payment, depending on your payment settings with Google, you may be able to use Google Play on your Android device.

While not often mentioned, credit card fees and debit card transaction costs are charged by a user’s bank for any money spent.

How Much You Can Make

The amount you’re able to make depends on your patrons and their spending habits, which is tied to Super Chat, Super Stickers, and Super Thanks $2000 spending limit. That said, the sky is the limit!

But bear in mind that YouTube charges creators a fee of 30% of your Super Chat revenue earned. This may sound like a big chunk because it is, but compared to Adsense revenue, it’s smaller. When you join the partner program, you agree to a 50%-40% advertising revenue split. 50% goes to the platform.

This may sound like a bad deal because you’re doing all the work of sharing videos that attract users. But the platform acts as a marketplace of sorts. For any creator, it’s a platform to share your work, build a fan base, and get paid in ad revenue.

For advertisers, it’s an opportunity to get in front of an active and captive market. The platform’s technology and proprietary algorithms facilitate it all.

4 Ways to Make More Money Using YouTube Super Chats

Is there a way to motivate people to spend more with you and do so ethically? Yes, and here are 4 methods:

1. Do Interactive Activities

Attending a live stream is about engaging more closely with your audience. And that feeling is strongest when the viewer shares input that affects content they’re viewing. Or, when they’re encouraged to take part.

Check out these ways to foster participation and engagement on your live streams.

Invite Ideas 

People love interacting with their favorite creators. If your content allows a little improv, make Super Chats a chance for people to influence what you do in real-time.

If you’re a gamer, ask what strategy you should use next. And if you’re an artist, say you’d like ideas for your next song, drawing, skit, recital, etc. 

Ignite Discussion 

You know your audience best, including the things that get them fired up. 

Go through the comments on your content and see what else your audience feels most passionate about

If your community falls into two camps about a hot topic, that’s a chance to get a friendly debate going within your community

The most vocal ones will likely pull out their credit card to make their point the loudest — all in good fun. 

Q and As

Fans of knowledge-based and how-to channels love the chance to pick their favorite personality’s brain. And they’ll definitely want their questions to stand out so you can address them with the expertise that makes them enjoy your content.

 ‘Ask Me Anything’ type videos are also great for personality-based channels. Your audience find you interesting, so they’re ready to pay to hear you spill the beans (or is it “tea” these days?) about more intimate details of your life. 

2. Talk About How Your Viewers’ Donations Can Help Your Channel

Some viewers get a lot of satisfaction from being part of funding campaigns. Knowing they’re helping might be more convincing than simply getting attention.

If you need support from your community, mention plainly that you’d appreciate their kind Super Chat donations. Then, explain what they’ll go toward. 

What exciting things can your viewers look forward to if you meet your goal? 

More content? Better equipment? A new set? Let them know! 

3. Promote Your Live Streams to Boost Attendance 

Give your audience time to clear their schedules for your livestream. Make them feel a little anticipation. You’ll see attendance shoot up as a result. 

Here are 3 ideas for doing that: 

  • Social Media Promotion
YouTube Livestream Twitter Announcement

Spread the word about your upcoming stream wherever your audience follows you. This gives everyone who enjoys your content the best chance of catching your stream!

In fact, research shows that 23.8% of internet users use social media to watch live streams. In addition to getting your audience excited, you might also earn yourself new followers. So go on and ask for a good ol’ retweet or share!

Also, mention that the live chat will be on so your fans expect interaction and get their wallets ready.

You can also use an email newsletter if you’ve been building a list. Add an iCal attachment so your viewers see it on their calendars and get timely reminders. 

Encourage Subscribers to Turn Notifications On 

When your community turns on notifications for your channel, they’ll get an alert when you go live. This is super important for keeping your live viewership high. 

Because let’s be honest, everyone checks their notifications. 

So, ask them straight up to subscribe to your channel and hit the bell icon. And consider using a graphic like this on your videos.

YouTube Subscribe Button

A Dramatic Countdown 

Using a countdown overlay gets people excited about your event. It also helps them settle in. That’s the kind of atmosphere and presentation that can make a stream feel like a big deal. 

Livestream Countdown

And when you kick it off with main-event energy, paying for some time in the spotlight with you feels totally worth it to viewers. 

4. Make Buyers Feel Special

Thank them. Mention them by name. They’re opting for a Super Chat so they can feel close to you and valued. In other words, make a massive effort to personalize how you show gratitude.

As much as 80% of customers are willing to do business with brands that offer personalized experiences. And remember, you’re a personal brand. The thought of hearing you say their username out loud is a powerful motivator for your viewers.

Infographic showing consumer preferences for personalized experiences. On the left, a donut chart highlights that 90% of respondents find personalization very or somewhat appealing, with 7% neutral and 4% not finding it appealing. On the right, a statement supported by an icon of a globe with an arrow, indicates that 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with companies offering personalized experiences. The bottom of the image includes a base note explaining the survey's sample size and a caution about a small sample size for one of the responses. The Epsilon logo is in the top right corner, signifying the source of the information.
80% of customers are willing to do business with brands that offer personalized experiences.

When live streaming a premiere, do the same by @‘ingviewers and responding to their comments while showing your appreciation.

You May Need to Ban Harassing Viewers

It’s never fun to do, but there are a few bad apples out there that you may need to ban or moderate. But should you ban them from your live chat feed if they have bought a chat or Super Stickers? It all depends on how you interpret chats.

Most streamers keep an eye out for certain chat words that are offensive, and they are able to moderate these words to keep them from showing up in chat. But sometimes, bullies and bad actors find creative ways to interact and cause upset.

YouTube has clear rules on engagement. Moderation is performed by YouTube and the creator. If YouTube and creators choose to, they can remove chats and Super Stickers for any reason and without notice. A user can remove a chat too.

Moderated or removed chats and stickers don’t receive automatic refunds, though. For help with that, you’ll need to contact support.

Promote Super Stickers and Super Thanks

Chats and Super Stickers are great, but when you add Super Thanks, you dial your revenue-making opportunities up to maximum! Using chat and Super Sticker and Super Thanks options gives YouTube creators the chance to elevate their live chat feeds and earnings without little effort. All you need do is promote the idea to fans.

Share that they can support your channel using Super Stickers and Thanks in the chat feed. Better yet, give them instructions on how to use chat and Super Stickers. New users stumble across channels daily and most people who watch streams don’t always fully participate.

People may not know how to share their appreciation either, and with the simple 4-step process outlined above, you can easily educate them. It’s as simple as sharing these instructions in your live chat feed.

3 Crucial Things to Keep in Mind

As cool as they are, Super Chats could use some improvement. It’s better you find out now rather than later. 

1. Your Live Stream Revenue Will Be Inconsistent 

Lack of stability comes with the territory when monetizing your audience through YouTube. Super Chats bring about more of the same. 

Your live stream revenue will depend on:: 

  • How many people will show up. 
  • How many of them will buy Super Chats. 
  • The kind that they’ll buy. 

Monetization options such as subscriptions and memberships are better for creating more stable live-streaming revenue. And you’ll still be able to supplement your income from the streams with Super Chats. 

2. You Share Revenue 

YouTube promotes the Super Chats feature as a personal way for viewers to support channels. Which is why it catches some content creators off-guard when they realize YouTube takes a 30% cut. 

But now you know. 

3. You Need to Moderate Your Live Stream Chat

Most fans are great people. The keyword here is most — but there’s always a chance of somebody being willing to pay to put a damper on things. 

You see where this is going: A troll or two might use Super Chats for the wrong reasons.

Hopefully, none of your audience will be focused on harassing other viewers on your livestream. Delayed action can potentially put your monetization status in a tricky spot. So keep watch, or make sure you’ve got someone on your team who can help with this. 

One Final Tip

You can see how much channels similar to yours are making from Super Chats. One tool you can use for doing that is Playboard

Playboard YouTube Tool

This makes it easier to get a rough idea of whether the potential boost to your income will be worthwhile. 

Or, you can check out the top-grossing ones and see what they’re doing right. 

Wrapping Up… 

Now that you know: 

  • How Super Chats work
  • How to enable them on your channel
  • 4 ways to encourage viewers to buy them

…you have a new way to add to your YouTube revenue. Still, there are plenty more ways to make your video business more profitable with live streaming. So be sure to keep an open mind. For now, use your new knowledge to rake it in!