If you’re familiar with YouTube or have been watching some of your favorite YouTube channels grow over the years you may have noticed that some of them have been rewarded for their growth. YouTube does this by providing channels with ‘YouTube play button’ awards granted for attaining a certain amount of subscribers.

The first play button is awarded once you reach 100,000 subscribers which may seem far out of reach for now but it’s easily achievable for someone producing quality content. Still think this is out of reach? Well, there are some milestones that come before your first play button.

Early Youtube benefits and awards

Graphite & Opal: When starting your channel for the first time and having below 1,000 subscribers you’ll be classed in the Graphite award level which means you’ll be getting no special benefits. The first youtube award that you can aim for is the Opal Award and this is awarded once you reach that 1,000 subs threshold.

Once you achieve 1,000 subscribers, you are given access to the ‘Community Tab’ which is also required before you apply for the YouTube partner program which allows you to monetize your channel. The other thing that you’ll need before you can consider applying for monetization is having a total of 4,000 hours of watch time over the past year. Once you achieve both of these things you’ll get a review of your channel’s content to make sure you’re eligible. Then you can start making money!

Bronze: If you’ve started to build up a significant following on the channel and you accumulate 10,000 subscribers on your channel you’re classed as a bronze channel. This gives you access to the Teespring monetization option within your channel which allows your channel to easily sell custom t-shirts to your subscribers however this is only available in the US at this time.

These are all of the first incentives to build up your following and unfortunately, there’s no more until you reach 100,000 subscribers. However, if you’ve managed to get over 10,000 subscribers we’d hope you’re motivated enough to keep making content on your journey to your next milestone which is, of course, a YouTube play button.

What is a YouTube Play Button?

A YouTube play button is a way to show off your YouTube success to friends and family but also to serve as a marker for your achievements. If you haven’t come across one before then essentially, it’s a button in the shape of the YouTube logo that is framed. It also features your channel name and each button and plaque gets progressively bigger the more subs your channel gets. There are currently five different tiers of rewards for the most successful YouTubers.

All YouTube Play Buttons

Let’s take a look at some of the rewards that you can aim for once your channel starts to take off and you begin to build up a real following.

Silver Play Button

This is the first major YouTube reward you can acquire and you’ll be eligible to apply for it when you reach 100,000 subs. Once qualified YouTube will notify you then you’ll be able to enter your information and they’ll send it out for you. After this, you should receive it in 6-10 weeks.

The Silver Play Button is made of 92% nickel, 5% carbon and 2.5% zinc with traces of other metals within for those of you who are interested!

silver play button

Gold Play Button

If you’re really starting to make a name for yourself on YouTube you might be heading towards the 1 million subscribers mark which is really exciting. If you hit this huge milestone you get the gold play button and this one really is special. It’s made of gold plated brass and is slightly bigger than the silver play button award.

gold play button

Diamond Play Button

Reserved for only the biggest channels on YouTube, the diamond play button is awarded to those content creators who reach the impressive feat of over 10,000,000 subscribers. This is made of silver-plated metal which features a large piece of crystal in the middle in the shape of a play button triangle. Until the 18th December 2016, this was the highest milestone offered by YouTube as a reward for its content creators and to this day is still regarded as an incredible achievement within the community.

Diamond Play Button

Custom Play Button (Ruby Play button)

This reward was created to mark the achievement of the first channel to reach 50,000,000 subscribers. The channel that achieved this was PewDiePie who receive the trophy as a gift and subsequently named it the ‘Ruby Play Button’. It was made in the hope of the channel logo which is shaped like a fist bump or as named by PewDiePie a ‘Brofist’.

He remained the only YouTuber to hold this award for 2 years before the second channel named T-Series also reached the milestone on September 11, 2018. The Button they received featured the Letter ‘T’ in a transparent glass casing and although still sometimes referred to as the ruby play button channels that receive them will have a custom design.

bro fist play button

Red Diamond Play Button

The final YouTube play button that has been awarded by YouTube is the Red Diamond play button. This is awarded for reaching or surpassing 100 million subscribers and all channels that reach this landmark will receive the same button style as opposed to the custom 50 million button.

Red Diamond Play Button

The design bares similarities to the diamond play button however it features a dark red crystal in the center and darker metals replacing the chrome on the other that can be seen on the 10 million award.



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