Accounts and Channels on YouTube

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This page explains the concepts of YouTube accounts and YouTube channels according to the following three points:

  • The difference between an account and a channel
  • The relationship between a Google account and a channel
  • How to allow multiple users to manage a single channel

Difference between an Account and a Channel

Basics of Signing into YouTube with your Google Account

Signing into YouTube with your Google account allows you to access the following YouTube features:

  • Like a video
  • Subscribe to a channel
  • Save videos to watch later
  • View your watch history

Basics about your channel

Once you have signed into YouTube with your Google Account, you can create a YouTube channel on your account. Even if you already have a Google Account, you still need to create a YouTube channel to use the following features:

  • Upload videos
  • Comment
  • Make playlists

Public Presence of your Account

The following section explains why you need to create a YouTube channel in order to upload videos, and provides a more detailed explanation of the concept of a “channel” on YouTube.

With a Google Account, you can watch and like videos and subscribe to channels. However, without a YouTube channel, you have no public presence on YouTube.
Quoted from: Create a new channel -YouTube Help

In other words, a channel allows you to openly interact with other users in a public manner. The following passages explain this further.

If you create more than one YouTube channel, you can manage them from one Google Account.
Quoted from: Use a different name on YouTube than your Google Account -YouTube Help

Moreover, you can manage multiple YouTube channels under one Google Account. This is advantageous, as it allows you to present different “public personas” that are tailored for different social situations and groups of people. Therefore, you can have separate YouTube channels to show your family, your work colleges, and your friends. Just as we change our behavior based on the situation, you can switch your YouTube channel depending on the circumstances and intended purposes.

References: YouTube official help

Relationship between a Google Account and a YouTube Channel

As mentioned, you can manage multiple channels from one Google Account. The next section describes the relationship between an account and a channel.


First, every channel is connected to an account. This account is not necessarily a personal Google Account. Also, the channel will use the same name as the account.

Brand Account and Google Account

Your channel can be connected to your account in the following two ways:

  • It can be directly connected to your personal Google Account, in which case the channel will use your Google account name.


  • It can be connected to a Brand Account. A Brand Account is linked to your Google Account. In other words, your YouTube channel is indirectly connected to your personal Google Account through the Brand Account. In this case, the channel will use the Brand Account name. As the channel is not directly connected to your personal Google account, it can use a name different than the one you use on your Google account.

Reference: YouTube official help

How to Allow Multiple Users to Manage a Single Channel

The methods for managing a single YouTube channel by multiple users vary depending on the type of account linked to the channel. See the following two scenarios for more details.

When a Channel is Connected to a Personal Google Account

YouTube channels connected to a personal Google Account can be managed by multiple users by granting other Google Accounts the ability to access your YouTube channel.
However, note that even though the channel is managed by multiple users, it will retain the name of the Google Account that owns the channel.

In addition, although the procedure is complicated, it is possible to transfer channel ownership. When channel ownership is transferred from one Google account to another, the channel name will also change from the former Google account to the new Google account name.

When a Channel is Connected to a Brand Account

If your channel is connected through a Brand Account, you cannot give other Google Accounts direct access to your channel. Instead, you must share the ownership of your Brand Account connected to the channel to other Google Accounts in order to allow others to manage your channel.

References: YouTube official help

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Sae Tokunaga