According to The Financial Times, YouTube could be in the process of launching paid subscription channels later this week. The Financial Times’ source mentions that YouTube has been crafting the service for months now looking at ways to generate more money for channels. This will be in addition to the ads and rentals YouTube uses now.
The subscription service is said to be in the area of $1 to $5 depending on the content and will feature some 50 YouTube channels. It was reported back in January that YouTube recruited a few channels to be included in the service to be paid.
When asked about it by the site Mashable in late January, a spokesperson for YouTube stated, “We have long maintained that different content requires different types of payment models. The important thing is that regardlss 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.”
This and the code Android Police found in YouTube’s app that includes information about subscribing and unsubscribing to paid channel definitely lends some weight to the rumor. While it would be somewhat of a change considering YouTube has been free to view for years, it should be noted that several sites that offered the main, foundation service for free for years have been looking at ways to turn a profit. Tumblr went the way of ads (although there are extensions and such to halt ads), Facebook also went with ads in addition to mobile gaming, and let’s not forget about Twitter.
Also consider that only 50 high content/view generating channels are on board for this experiment. If it doesn’t do well or if viewership happens to tank for those channels chances are the idea could be scrapped. Not only that, but it’s $1 to $5 a month for things such as concerts, shows, and so on. You’re pretty much looking at a minimum of $12—which isn’t bad at all—to $60 annually which means the content should definitely be worth it. For those of us who use YouTube to just video funny videos, shows, and listen to music, this won’t really affect us much if at all, so for those considering raising a ruckus about it—simmer down
With that said, would you consider paying $1-$5 a month for a YouTube channel if you enjoyed the content?