YouTube to Start Offering Paid Subscriptions
YouTube has undoubtedly been one of the success stories of the Internet age. Over 4 billion hours of footage are viewed on YouTube each and every month. It really has revolutionized how video content is viewed online. Of course the comments section of the average YouTube video often leads one to despair, but overall the site has been an enormous source for good.
Of course much of this success has been founded on a business model that has relied upon advertising to generate income. Watching the videos themselves has always been free. This has resulted in an ongoing battle, as copyrighted material is hunted down and removed.
News today however reveals that YouTube are to offer a new subscription service in a bid to satisfy major content producers. The site is planning to offer paid subscriptions for individual channels.
Producers have already been contacted and asked to begin thinking about channels that they would ask users to pay to watch content on. It's expected that these early channels will charge somewhere between $1 and $5 a month.
It's expected that those media companies with a large existing following will be amongst the first to capitalize on this new development, with the new subscription model potentially being rolled out as early as the second quarter of this year.
YouTube has been talking about the possibility of paid subscriptions for some time now. A year ago, at at AllThingsD media conference, YouTube CEO Salar Kamangar talked on stage about the potential to poach second- or third-tier cable networks that were having trouble building big enough audiences on cable TV to command subscription fees from distributors. Internet distribution, the thinking goes, would give some of these networks a more direct line to their passionate base with lower costs .
"If we have a subscription model," Mr. Kamangar said at the time, "then absolutely that's something that becomes possible."
"We have long maintained that different content requires different types of payment models," a Google spokesman said, in a statement. 'The important thing is that, regardless of the model, our creators succeed on the platform. There are a lot of our content creators that think they would benefit from subscriptions, so we're looking at that."
Would you pay for YouTube content? If so, how much?