YouTube Creator Awards

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:

  • Graphite, for channels that have fewer than 1,000 subscribers.
  • Opal, for channels that reach or surpass 1,000 subscribers. It is also one of three requirements to apply to the YouTube Partner Program for monetization, the other two being a minimum of 4,000 total viewer watch hours in the past 12 months and a review of the channel's content to determine eligibility. Channels with monetization can also enable Super Chat, while gaming channels can also enable channel membership.[4]
  • Bronze, for channels that reach or surpass 10,000 subscribers. If a channel is monetized, this level adds a Teespring monetization option.[5]


When a verified YouTuber 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 the more subscribers the channel gets.[6]

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

  • The Silver Creator Award, for channels that reach or surpass 100,000 subscribers. The old version was made of nickel-plated cupronickel alloy.[7] The new version (as of March 1, 2017) is 92% nickel, 5% carbon and 2.5% zinc, with traces of other metals.[8] In March 2018, the look of the Silver Play Button was updated from a metal button housed within a window box with the channel's name printed on the front glass pane to a cleaner-looking flat designed metal plaque award featuring the channel's name embossed on it.[9] Channels at this level are also eligible to apply for a digital verification badge.[10]
  • The Gold Creator Award, for channels that reach or surpass 1 million subscribers. It is made of gold-plated brass.[7] In March 2018, the look of the Gold Play Button was updated from a metal button housed within a window box with the channel's name printed on the front glass pane to a cleaner-looking flat designed metal plaque award featuring the channel's name embossed on it.[9][11][12]
  • The Diamond Creator Award, for channels that reach or surpass 10 million subscribers. It is made of silver-plated metal inset with a large piece of colorless crystal in the shape of a play button triangle.[13][14] As of June 2019, there are 432 channels that have reached this level.[15]
  • The Custom Creator Award, for channels that reach or surpass 50 million subscribers. It is absent from the Creators Award page. There are currently seven channels that have reached this level:[15]
    • PewDiePie was the first YouTuber to achieve 50 million subscribers, on December 18, 2016. He received a Custom Play Button, which he nicknamed the Ruby Play Button.[16] It was made in the shape of his channel's logo: the front of a hand giving a "bro fist", or a fist bump, stylized to resemble the letter P, and was red in color. It also came with several mini-awards to be gifted to subscribers that had been subscribed the longest and were still active.[17][18]
    • T-Series was the second YouTube channel to achieve 50 million subscribers. The company received its Custom Play Button on September 11, 2018.[19][20] The award features the letter T engraved inside it via vitrography. T-Series' has a colorless award, in contrast to PewDiePie's ruby-colored award.
    • Five other channels qualify for this award, but they did not publicly confirm reception of the award. This includes 5-Minute Crafts, which qualified in February 2019;[21] three other channels (Cocomelon,[22] SET India and KondZilla), which qualified in June 2019; and WWE, which qualified in October 2019.
  • The Red Diamond Creator Award, for channels that reach or surpass 100 million subscribers. Inspired by the Diamond Creator Award, it features a play button triangle with a large dark red crystal. There are currently two channels that have reached this level:


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]


The YouTube Rewind series uses a "rewind" version of the Play Button as its logo since 2013.[26]


  1. "YouTube Creator Rewards". YouTube. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  2. Weiss, Geoff (February 6, 2018). "YouTube On 'Play Button' Awards: "Not All Creators Who Apply Will Receive Awards" - Tubefilter". Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  3. Alexander, Julia (February 2, 2018). "YouTube says 'not all creators who apply' for Creator Awards will receive them". Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  4. "Channel memberships eligibility, policies, & guidelines - YouTube Help". YouTube Help. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  5. Alexander, Julia (June 21, 2018). "YouTube partners with Teespring to help creators sell official merchandise". Polygon. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  6. "YouTube Creator Hub". YouTube. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  7. "What is the Gold Play Button REALLY Made Of?". YouTube. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  8. "What is the NEW Silver Play Button REALLY made of?!". YouTube. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  9. "YouTube's silver and gold play buttons are getting a new look". Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  10. McPhie, Jonathan (September 19, 2019). "Updates to YouTube's verification program". YouTube Creator Blog. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  11. Acuna, Kirsten (July 19, 2012). "YouTube Is Rewarding Its Most Popular Users With Gold". Business Insider. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  12. Cohen, Joshua (June 29, 2012). "YouTube Gives 24-Karat Gold 'Play Button' to Channels with 1M+ Subs". Tubefilter. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  13. Brouwer, Bree (July 24, 2015). "YouTube Gives New Diamond Play Button To Channels With 10 Million Subscribers". Tubefilter. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  14. Dillon, Poppy (August 3, 2015). "YouTube Announced Diamond Play Button". TenEighty. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  15. "Top 500 Subscribed YouTube Channels (Sorted by Subscriber Count)". Social Blade. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  16. YouTube (August 25, 2019). "Tweet". Twitter. Married to @marziapie 💍Revived our love of Minecraft ⛏️ Reached 100 million subscribers on YouTube ✔️ What a month to celebrate and congratulate @PewDiePie 👊
  17. "PewdiePie's video on receiving the award". YouTube. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  18. "YouTube Sends PewDiePie Custom Ruby Play Button To Commemorate 50 Million Subscribers". Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  19. @KEEMSTAR (September 11, 2018). "YouTube awarded @TSeries with a 50 Million Play Button" (Tweet). Retrieved September 30, 2018 via Twitter.
  20. "Photographic image". Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  21. "UC295-Dw_tDNtZXFeAPAW6Aw YouTube Stats, Channel Statistics -". Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  22. "Cocomelon was the first nursery rhyme to hit 50 million subscribers in the video". Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  23. YouTube (May 29, 2019). "Tweet". Twitter. Hey @TSeries, you might want to make some space on your shelf for something new and shiny...
  25. Perez, Sarah (September 19, 2019). "YouTube overhauls its problematic verification program". Archived from the original on September 19, 2019. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  26. YouTube (December 11, 2013). YouTube Rewind: What Does 2013 Say? on YouTube
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