YouTube creators who reach 100 million subscribers on the platform are rewarded with a highly coveted prize: the YouTube Diamond Play Button. This prestigious award is YouTube’s way of recognizing creators who have built massive, dedicated followings on the platform.
What is the Diamond Play Button?
The YouTube Diamond Play Button is a plaque given to creators who surpass 100 million subscribers on their YouTube channels. It features a large diamond-shaped YouTube play button icon in the center, with the creator’s channel name engraved below it. The iconic play button logo is plated in silver or gold and sits atop a mirrored base.
YouTube introduced the Diamond Play Button in 2013 as part of the YouTube Rewards program. It joined the Silver Play Button (100,000 subscribers) and Gold Play Button (1 million subscribers) to complete YouTube’s trio of creator awards.
Earning a Diamond Play Button is an incredible feat. It means a creator’s videos and content have resonated with tens of millions of viewers around the world. The award signifies popularity, influence, and success on YouTube’s global platform.
Who has received a Diamond Play Button?
Due to the exceptionally high subscriber threshold, only a handful of top YouTube channels have received the coveted Diamond Play Button.
As of November 2023, these are the YouTube channels that have surpassed 100 million subscribers and earned a Diamond Play Button award:
- T-Series – 234 million subscribers
- PewDiePie – 120 million subscribers
- Cocomelon – Nursery Rhymes – 120 million subscribers
- SET India – 130 million subscribers
- Zee Music Company – 200 million subscribers
- WWE – 102 million subscribers
- Justin Bieber – 83.3 million subscribers
- Blackpink – 88.1 million subscribers
- Marshmello – 74.1 million subscribers
- Ariana Grande – 84.7 million subscribers
T-Series, an Indian music record label and movie studio, was the first YouTube channel to reach the 100 million subscriber mark in March 2019. The rest of the list is dominated by major music labels, children’s programming, and celebrity artists. PewDiePie remains the most subscribed individual creator.
The Rarity of Diamond Play Buttons
Considering YouTube has over 2 billion monthly active users, the Diamond Play Button stands out for its exclusivity. YouTube does not release official counts, but estimates suggest less than 30 channels have received a Diamond award.
To put that figure in perspective, YouTube reports there are currently over 37,000 channels with 1 million subscribers or more on the platform. Yet only a tiny fraction of those have grown their audiences to the triple-digit millions.
In addition, YouTube itself has different channels for various regions and services (e.g. YouTube Music, YouTube Gaming). None of YouTube’s own channels have hit the 100 million subscriber mark.
This shows just how difficult it is to build an audience of that size on YouTube. A creator needs world-class content, marketing, consistency, and longevity to attract and retain 100 million subscribers.
YouTube Diamond Play Button Requirements
YouTube has specific policies surrounding Diamond Play Button eligibility. These requirements help maintain the award’s prestige and prevent channel owners from manipulating their way to 100 million subscribers.
To qualify for a YouTube Diamond Play Button, a channel must:
- Have at least 100 million subscribers. The subscriber count must be legitimate and earned organically by the channel.
- Be the original creator and owner of the channel. Channels that are sold or transferred to a different owner are ineligible.
- Have an accurate and complete YouTube account status with valid contact information.
- Not have any active Community Guidelines strikes against the channel.
- Comply with YouTube’s Terms of Service and all policies.
YouTube also reserves the right to deny or revoke a Diamond Play Button at their sole discretion. For example, a channel with fake or bots subscribers would not qualify, even if it shows over 100 million subscribers publicly.
The Diamond Play Button Awards Ceremony
For most YouTube creator awards, the physical plaque simply arrives in the mail without notice. But Diamond Play Buttons are different. These rare awards are presented to channels at exclusive invitation-only ceremonies.
The awards events bring together YouTube’s top executives, the recipient’s team, and sometimes fellow top creators. They offer a chance to celebrate the monumental achievement together in person.
Past Diamond Play Button ceremonies have taken place at YouTube headquarters, graft events, or the channel’s own studios. The presentations are kept low-key and private.
After the event, YouTube may announce the award publicly across its social media profiles and Creator Blog. They highlight the creator’s accomplishments and growth on the platform.
The Benefits and Privileges of Earning a Diamond Play Button
Aside from the shiny plaque, being awarded a Diamond Play Button comes with some nice benefits:
- Exclusive Access – Diamond creators get access to exclusive events and opportunities at YouTube. This includes private workshops, celebrity sessions, labs, and more.
- Dedicated Support – Larger channels have direct contacts and support managers at YouTube to help optimize their presence.
- More Influence – YouTube consults top creators when developing products and features. Diamond channels have a bigger say.
- Prestige and Fame – The award brings public recognition both on and off YouTube. It signifies massive popularity.
- Higher Revenue – Channels with over 100 million subs tend to have higher CPM rates and make more money.
While the benefits are nice, most creators feel earning a Diamond Play Button is more about the tremendous sense of achievement and pride. It’s a lifetime milestone for any YouTuber.
Do Other YouTube Awards Exist?
Yes, YouTube offers several other awards and plaques beyond the standard Silver, Gold, and Diamond Play Buttons:
- Custom Awards – Channels with 50 million, 75 million, or other major milestones may receive custom Play Buttons.
- Ruby Play Button – A red play button awarded to channels surpassing 50 million subscribers.
- Sapphire Play Button – A blue play button for passing 30 million subscribers.
- Opal Play Button – A multicolored play button given to channels above 10 million subs.
- Red Diamond Award – For YouTube Gaming channels with 100 million subs.
There are also smaller awards like Gold Play Button Miniatures and #YouTubeBlack creator awards. However, the original Diamond Play Button remains YouTube’s most iconic and coveted creator award.
How Long Does It Take to Reach 100 Million Subscribers?
There is no set timeline for reaching 100 million YouTube subscribers. How long it takes depends on many factors:
- Quality and consistency of video content
- Uploading frequency and viewer satisfaction
- Marketing and collaborations with other creators
- Virality and sharing on social media
- Leveraging trends, search, and watch time
However, examining the Diamond Play Button recipients reveals some averages:
- Music channels like T-Series and Blackpink hit 100 million in under 10 years.
- Top creators like PewDiePie took about 8-10 years to reach the milestone.
- Celebrities like Justin Bieber passed 100 million in 6-8 years.
- Kids content producers like Cocomelon took around 5 years.
So while every channel grows at its own pace, the typical timeline for a Diamond Play Button is 5-10 years. Channels that rely on viral hits and trends may grow at an accelerated rate. Those with narrow niches tend to take longer.
Tips to Grow Your Channel Towards 100 Million Subscribers
Very few channels will ever reach the heights of 100 million subscribers. But for any creator looking to maximize their growth and impact on YouTube, here are some tips:
- Optimize your content for maximum watch time, views, and shares.
- Analyze your audience and their interests to make viewer-focused content.
- Increase upload frequency and improve production quality over time.
- Leverage YouTube tools like Community, analytics, and promotions.
- Collaborate with other creators and relevant brands via sponsorships.
- Use YouTube trends and current events for timely video ideas.
- Encourage engagement and community with your viewers via comments.
- Promote your channel outside YouTube via social media and other platforms.
With a strategic approach and years of sustained effort, creators can build audiences of tens of millions on YouTube. Very few may ever join the elite Diamond Play Button ranks. But the journey of growth itself can be incredibly rewarding.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does the 100 million YouTube Play Button look like?
The 100 million subscriber YouTube Play Button features a large diamond-shaped play button icon plated in gold or silver. Below the icon is the recipient’s channel name engraved onto a mirrored base. The award measures around 22 inches (56 cm) wide.
What other YouTube Play Buttons are there?
YouTube offers Silver Play Buttons (100,000 subscribers), Gold Play Buttons (1 million), Ruby Play Buttons (50 million), and custom awards. But the Diamond Play Button for 100 million subscribers remains the most prestigious and iconic.
Who has the most Diamond Play Buttons?
Currently, T-Series has the most Diamond Play Buttons, having received multiple awards for their music and film channels surpassing 100 million subs. Sony Music India also has several subsidiaries with Diamond awards.
How many people have 100 million subscribers on YouTube?
As of November 2023, fewer than 30 YouTube channels are estimated to have surpassed 100 million subscribers. The number of Diamond Play Button recipients is very small compared to channels with 1 million or more subs.
Can a company get a Diamond Play Button?
Yes, companies like record labels, TV networks, and brands are eligible for a Diamond Play Button if they pass 100 million subscribers. T-Series was the first company channel to receive the award.
Who is the youngest Diamond Play Button winner?
Ryan Kaji of the YouTube channel Ryan’s World earned a Diamond Play Button at the age of 8, making him the youngest recipient to date. His channel features videos of him playing with toys and conducting experiments.
Why don’t all 100M channels get a Diamond Play Button?
YouTube requires channels to meet all eligibility criteria to qualify, including following policies and having accurate account information. Channels with bots, fake subs, strikes, or violations do not receive awards.
How much is a real Diamond Play Button worth?
Diamond Play Buttons have no official resale value, as they remain the property of YouTube. However, they could be worth $50,000 – $100,000 to collectors and fans given their rarity.
How do you qualify for a Diamond Play Button?
To qualify, a channel must: Have over 100 million legitimate subscribers, be the original creator/owner, have no strikes, comply with YouTube’s policies, and have complete accurate account information.
Who has the most subscribers without a Diamond Play Button?
As of November 2023, the YouTube channel 5-Minute Crafts remains the top channel without a Diamond Play Button, currently sitting at 98 million subscribers.
YouTube’s Diamond Play Button stands as a monumental symbol of influence, success, and connection with an audience. While fewer than 30 channels have earned this incredible honor so far, it remains an aspiration for creators on the platform.
Achieving over 100 million organic YouTube subscribers takes years of strategic effort. But channels who continue optimizing their content for the audience, promoting it well, and leveraging YouTube features can still see tremendous growth.
For your favorite creators who aren’t at Diamond status yet, fans can help by liking, sharing, and engaging with their content. The road to 100 million has many milestones, and loyal viewers are the driving force behind every single one.