According to reports, YouTube is ready to roll-out a pay-to-subscribe model for certain video channels – which means that users will be charged money in order to subscribe to certain YouTube channels, and watch videos.
Reports claim that this paid-subscriptions or ‘premium-content’ mechanism has been in the works for months, and might be launched as early as this week!
According to the Financial Times, “the move aims to help channels finance a wider range of content such as television shows and films, and will serve as an alternate source of revenue for these channel.”
The Financial Times report further states that the service will include up to 50 YouTube channels (or somewhere between 25-50 channels will initially be made subscription-only), and subscriptions are reported to start as low a $1.99 per month.
A YouTube rep pretty much confirmed YouTube’s plans when he told Mashable that (while they have nothing to announce at the moment) “YouTube is indeed looking into creating a subscription platform that could bring even more great content to YouTube for users to enjoy, whilst providing video-creators with another vehicle to generate revenue from their content, beyond the rental and ad-supported models that YouTube already offers.”
Customers who pay to subscribe to these channels will be able to get access to exclusive videos, TV shows and films from select specialist channels. Paying for subscriptions may also remove adverts from free videos.
Currently, YouTube has 60 partner channels on-board. These partner channels, launched in October last year, have helped expand YouTube’s audience and viewership to over 1 billion users! It is not yet known which of these partner channels will be a part of the subscription service when it launches.
Till now, subscribing to channels has been free. However this paid-for subscriptions model will help YouYube add to it’s revenues, and the extra income is also expected to fund new TV and film shows that will be shown exclusively online, ala Netflix.
Indeed, such a subscription-based model will pit Google in direct competition with the highly-popular Netflix. This will allow channel owners as well as businesses to finance the creation of new content but also bring in revenue from older (archived) shows and films.
Good move from from a business-perspective? Would you opt for a subscriptions-based YouTube channel for your business if you were offered one, and have viewers pay to watch your content?