YouTube announced that it’s planning to experiment with paid subscriptions for some of its channels which already have a large following, such as Machinima, Maker Studios and Fullscreen. According to the site, the move stems from the premium channels themselves.
“There are a lot of our content creators that think they would benefit from subscriptions, so we’re looking at that,” said YouTube in a statement about the program.
Subscription rates are rumored to be in the ballpark of $1 to $5 a month and would initially launch with 25 channels. YouTube is also considering charging for content libraries and access to live events, a la pay-per-view, as well as self-help or financial advice shows.
YouTube is likely looking to services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant Video, all of which rely on user fees and have started making original content. YouTube paid subscriptions could benefit the company on two fronts. Looking at Hulu and Netflix, there’s certainly the potential that fees could become a lucrative revenue stream outside of ads. The opportunity to make more money on the channel is also incentive for creators, whether getting more premium content from those already on YouTube or attracting high-profile TV or film talent.
Will viewers pay? Outside of price, it will come down to how paid content compares to what everyone was used to getting for free.
Would you pay a small fee to watch your favorite YouTube channel? Let us know your thoughts on YouTube ‘experimentation’ in the comments below!
Source: Ad Age