YouTube Creator Awards

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YouTube Creator Awards, commonly known as YouTube Play Buttons, are a gift from YouTube that serves to recognize its most popular channels.


These awards are based on a channel's subscriber count, but are offered at the sole discretion of YouTube. Each channel is reviewed before an award is issued, to ensure that the channel follows the YouTube community guidelines. [1] YouTube reserves the right to refuse to hand out a Creator Reward, which it did not previously award to select channels with horror or political content, as well as various critics. [2] [3]

Benefits and awards

Benefit levels

These levels do not include physical and announcement awards, but offer alternative benefits instead:


When a verified YouTube channel reaches a specific milestone and is deemed eligible for a YouTube Creator Reward, [1] they are awarded a relatively flat trophy in a metal casing with a YouTube play button symbol. The trophies are of different sizes: each button and plaque gets progressively bigger with the channel's subscriber count. [6]

There are currently three different tiers of rewards, [1] plus a fourth and fifth that were awarded a few times:


The awards are based on the number of subscribers. In an article in October 2019 Techcrunch reported "the number of subscribers" is a "metric that can be gamed by bots". [25]

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