YouTube Play Buttons: Every Thing You Need To Know

YouTube recently updated there play buttons for a refreshed design. See all the YouTube play buttons and see what you need to do to get your own.


If you’re familiar with YouTube or have been watching some of your favorite YouTubers channels grow over the years you may have noticed that some of them have been rewarded for their growth. This plays as an incentive for small channels work towards in hope of securing their own play button.

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 you channel for the first time and having below 1,000 subscribers you’ll be classed in the Graphite award level which sees you getting has 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 thrash hold. This will give you access to the ‘Community Tab’ and is also one of the three requirements that you need to achieve before you apply for the YouTube partner program which allows you to monetize your channel. The other things that you’ll need before you can consider doing this are having a total of 4,000 hours of watch time from viewers over the past year and then you’ll get a review of your channels content to make sure you’re eligible.

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 but if you’ve managed to get over 10,000 subscribers hopefully you’re already motivated enough to keep making content for your fans 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 and 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 three different tiers of rewards for the most successful YouTubers plus a new fourth one that has only been awarded two times up until now.

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, youtube play button

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 and 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 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!

gold youtube 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 that we talked about before.

youtube diamond 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 feat.

ruby 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 it shows that achieving 50 million subscribers will receive a customized play button that isn’t definitely going to be red.

Want your own play button?

Looking to get your own play button for your office wall? Well it’s going to take hard work and dedication but you’ll get there in the end and then you’ll be working towards your next one in no time.

It can be difficult to stay focused at the beginning of your journey. One recommendation I’d make is to read this mind management book called ‘The Chimp Paradox’ it’s more than worth a read if you’re struggling to get started.

the chimp paradox

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If that doesn’t work for you theres plenty of other books out there that could help you keep your focus and achieve your first youtube play button!


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