A lasting online brand can only stand the test of time with a solid community. And when you’re a content creator investing in an online presence and video monetization strategy, the best membership platforms can help you attract and cultivate your community.
One easy way to cultivate a community is with a membership platform, where you can release content, offer subscriber perks, VIP discounts, and other exclusive offerings to build a community and create quality content. Membership platforms allow brands to control what content their subscribers see and how much they should pay for it.
But there are hundreds of membership platforms to consider. And while all of them offer great features for the right content creator, some can be too expensive for up and coming businesses, while others lack the necessary features to control what your members see and pay for.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best membership platforms in 2022, how to create your own, and the details you need to start building your membership community.
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What is a membership platform site?
A membership platform is a website that stores and hosts content so members can access it by subscribing or paying a fee.
Membership sites offer subscribers to pay a monthly, annual, or one-off fee to unlock content for a certain time. Some sites offer free memberships with limited content or features so subscribers can get a taste test before they sign up.
There’s a reason why brands are jumping at the chance to get on the membership bandwagon — subscriptions have exploded in popularity. Projections show paid OTT subscriptions will grow by over 50% by 2025 to around 307 million in the US alone.
That’s a big (revenue) pie, and it makes sense that your brand wants a piece.
How to create a membership site
If you’ve decided to take the plunge and create a membership site, you have several different options.
Do you know how to code? Well, then you can develop a membership site yourself.
Hiring developers is a quicker (and easier) route if you have the budget. A developer can build a membership site from scratch and customize it to suit your needs, like content portals and branding. You’ll also have total control over everything from the user interface to design and payment options to help the site feel like an extension of your brand.
The third option is to use a specialized platform like Vimeo OTT to build a custom site that comes packed with everything you need to host members and share your content. This out-of-the-box solution allows you to launch a membership site overnight and covers all of the technical stuff, like migration, content storage, and analytics to hit the ground running.
For the third option— a custom membership platform — research is key. Membership platforms come in all shapes and sizes with varying features and price points.
With all the options at hand, it’s important for content creates to find and invest in a platform that’s right for their business. So here are our picks for the nine best platforms to choose from in 2022.
2022 best membership platforms
1. Vimeo OTT
Over 200 individuals and brands now use Vimeo OTT to stream content and share it with subscribers.
It’s easy to see why Vimeo is an ideal choice for video creators craving an easy-to-use membership site straight out of the box. Vimeo combines video sharing with features like an editing suite and post-production tools to help creators provide a world-class experience on their site without hiring full-time editors.
Vimeo has everything you need to kickstart your own membership site:
- Monetization options. Offer subscribers monthly subscriptions or exclusive access to live streams and pay-per-view events and collect the revenue from inside Vimeo.
- Content management. Store, stream and customize content inside Vimeo’s cloud.
- Faultless content delivery: Delivery content quickly and seamlessly thanks to Vimeo’s internal server network and adaptive bitrate streaming features.
Creating content to share on a Vimeo membership site is easy. Just upload and edit a video, and then add it to a collection that subscribers can access once they’re signed up. Thanks to the inbuilt API and SDKs, you can stream content straight to members’ mobile devices at 1080p and upload multiple pieces of content at a time using the batch upload feature.
As for monetizing memberships, Vimeo has multiple options:
- Monthly memberships. Monthly set fee (minimum of $1.99)
- Yearly memberships. Annual set fee (minimum of $12)
- Free memberships. A free trial to access content for 3, 7, 14, or 30 days
- Worldwide memberships. Priced depending on the member’s chosen currency
Members can even pause or cancel their memberships on their own, removing the need to talk to a customer service representative and giving them a better experience with your brand.
Integrations. Pinterest, Dropbox, Slack, Adobe, Google Drive, Shopify, EventBrite, Zoom, + many more.
Price: Launch a membership site with Vimeo from $1 per subscriber. For growing businesses, OTT packages start at $500/month. If you want to take it for a test drive, Vimeo also has a free 30-day30 day trial—sign up here!
2. CMS Hub
Next on our list is HubSpot’s answer to membership platforms—the CMS hub.
CMS hub is a content management platform within HubSpot’s entire ecosystem. Teams already using the tool for marketing and sales can add on the hub to create a membership hub from scratch to host content. Once live, brands can customize content displayed to members and schedule classes and video uploads from a single dashboard.
The real draw for brands using CMS hub is that all your membership data lives under one roof. By integrating the hub with your existing HubSpot sales and marketing database, you can customize what customers see and create groups that only specific members can access. This gives every member a truly personalized VIP experience every time they log on!
Price: CMS Hub starts at $25/month. If you want to add it to an Enterprise plan, this can cost over $1000/month.
If you’re looking for a simple membership platform with basic features, Wix’s Member’s Area is worth investigating looking into.
The membership site gives content creators a space to integrate Wix apps like bookings and forums with a membership area that stores and shares exclusive content. Sites that pay for a premium plan can offer several types of memberships: the all-access passes allow subscribers to access entire content libraries. In contrast,, while drip-feed memberships unlock content based on timed releases (e.g., new videos released every day or week.)
Although Wix’s membership site has some great features, there are some setbacks for brands that are looking for a truly customizable platform. Two setbacks include the inability to personalize emails and the challenge of switching the platform’s membership model once chosen.
Price: Basic Wix plans start at around $14/month while Premium plans cost up to $500/month.
If you have an existing Squarespace site, using MemberSpace is ideal for quickly integrating a membership platform into your site.
As it’s a third-party tool, MemberSpace links to your existing site, creating locked pages that only members can access. Once the gated page is up and running, you can add in content like videos, courses, and tutorials for members to access and control what they have access to based on their membership level.
MemberSpace handles payments depending on fee set up (either rolling memberships or one-off charges). If someone wants to pause or cancel their membership, they can do it using the self-service portal.
However, MemberSpace can get pricey — especially if you have a lot of members. There’s a 4% transaction fee for every membership fee on top of monthly subscription costs.
Price: The tool costs $29/month, not including the 4% transaction fee per member.
The following next tool on our list is YourMembership—an all-in-one membership platform offering tons of features for brands looking for a more advanced solution.
The platform has all the features you need to create and manage memberships, like a database to store member information and dues management tools to help you collect fees. Thanks to advanced analytics tools, brands can also dive into granular data like how much your membership site is growing and what content your members are engaging with the most.
The downside of YourMembership is lack of transparency around pricing. You’ll have to ask for a custom quote to get an idea of how much the platform will cost, but some estimates say the tool costs around $2,500 in set-up and onboarding fees alone.
Price: Available on request here.
Morweb is primarily a CRM tool for non-profits to manage their website, but it also has a custom portal for basic membership needs.
You can use Morweb’s simple drag-and-drop editor to design the membership portal to match your non-profit’s branding. Once a membership is active, people can access password-protected pages and share internal information. Inside these gated pages, you can start forums and share resources so people can learn more about your mission. There’s even a space to create members-only events to help keep members engaged.
Morweb definitely isn’t the most advanced tool on our list (or the most aesthetically appealing), but if you want a simple solution without learning to code—it could be a good fit!
Price: Morweb offers three plans: Start ($99 per month), Grow ($149 per month), and Engage ($199 per month).
If you host an existing site on a CMS like WordPress, Weebly, Wix, or HTML5, MembershipWorks is a great plug-and-play solution to integrate a membership platform.
MembershipWorks is perfect for brands that host many lot of events and live streams, thanks to the built-in ticketing and calendar features. Members can register and pay for events on the site, with the added benefit of an automated calendar reminder and any important information they need sent before it kicks off. The platform also limits event capacity and controls ticket quantities so you’ll never overbook.
The platform also keeps detailed records of every member that signs up. You’ll have a paper trail of past payments, records of what events they’ve attended, and an interactive map showing where they’re located. These details help you customize your content and events based on what’s been popular with your members to keep them engaged.
Price: Plugging MembershipWorks into an existing site ranges anywhere from free to $200+ a month, depending on member numbers. If you need a hosted membership site, prices start at $39/month.
Memberful is a simple plug-in solution for content creators with an existing WordPress site.
The platform is fully customizable—you can add your branding, build custom landing pages, create email templates, and even set up a white-label domain depending on your needs. Once your platform is up and running, choose from a range of subscription options like monthly memberships, VIP packages, and one-time fees, depending on what content you’re offering.
If your budget is tight, a free plan is available—but it’ll cost you. Every membership will have a 10% transaction fee added, which is cut to 4.9% if you sign up for one of Memberful’s premium plans.
Price: Memberful has three tiers: Starter (free), Pro ($25 per month), and Premium ($100 per month).
The last platform on our list is Wild Apricot — a site that aims to simplify the membership process for your subscribers.
The tool’s dashboard allows you to set costs, schedule events, and manage memberships all under one roof. Here, you can also send out simple marketing emails and create multiple membership levels depending on the content you’re offering. The platform also grows with your brand—as your membership base grows, there are options to sell merch and exclusive VIP content to earn more revenue.
Once again, the downside is Wild Apricot’s pricing. While the platform is free if you’ve got less than 50 members, it can cost you hundreds of dollars a month once your list grows.
Price: Entry-level plans are free, with prices reaching $720/month for 50,000 members.
Which membership platform is right for your brand?
Membership sites are a great way to build a loyal community of engaged subscribers and get them more involved in your brand.
Offering online tutorials or exclusive events is a perfect way to reach subscribers anywhere globally and monetize existing content to create an additional revenue stream for your business.
Truthfully, there is no perfect membership platform out there. The one you invest in will depend on what features and customization options you’re looking for and what you can afford on your budget.
So, which membership site is the right fit for you?