Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

YouTube Subscription Model Arrives This Week

By - Source: The New York Times | B 16 comments

Google is reportedly getting ready to launch a paid subscription service for a number of YouTube channels, costing as little as $1.99 USD each per month.

This new move to a paid platform will reportedly increase per-video revenues so that content creators can generate TV shows and movies with a higher budget than what trickles in from the current advertising scheme. Google is expected to announce something official by the end of the week.

Google has openly worked on building this subscription service for more than a year. The project began to accelerate thanks to the growing momentum of Netflix (30M), Hulu (4M) and Amazon which offers both third-party and original content to subscribers. Initially YouTube's system may be applied to around fifty YouTube channels, sources claim.

So far it's unknown whether YouTube's initial pay-per-channel batch will be based on already-established channels, or new YouTube video channels created specifically for this new pay platform. The New York Times suggests that it will be a second source of revenue for Google partners on YouTube, meaning the new batch could be new "premium" versions of existing channels.

Insiders told the paper that subscription channels will include children's programming, entertainment, music and many other topic areas. Some of the content providers who worked with YouTube on the subscription model are looking to convert existing viewers into paying customers. Others are looking to distinguish themselves from the rest by offering old TV episodes, for example.

The New York Times points out an interesting fact: this new YouTube subscription model essentially allows channel owners to become their own miniature Netflix and Hulu-type services, only not quite so grand in scale. An already-established "free" channel could be used to promote the "premium" channel by way of trailers, behind-the-scenes footage and more.

Many partners had planned to promote their pay-channels on Thursday, but now they're expected to announce their plans even sooner thanks to the recent press coverage accelerating Google's plans. Naturally Google and YouTube refuse to confirm any upcoming announcements, but did acknowledge that YouTube is working on a subscription model outside the current rental and ad-supported models.

"We have nothing to announce at this time, but we’re looking into creating a subscription platform that could bring even more great content to YouTube for our users to enjoy and provide our partners with another vehicle to generate revenue from their content, beyond the rental and ad-supported models we offer," a YouTube spokesperson said on Monday.

Currently it's unknown how content providers will split the subscription-based revenue with YouTube. Sources claim that a number of YouTube's most popular video makers have passed on the subscription model, and have elected to sit back and watch what other content providers do.

Discuss
Display all 16 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 17 Hide
    DRosencraft , May 6, 2013 4:08 PM
    I have neither Netflix nor Hulu Plus, and will not be signing up for something like this. However, I can understand why they would make this move. My concern is over how much of the content on YouTube now will be migrated to this scheme in the coming months and years. The fact that it has so much free content is a part of what made YouTube so immediately powerful. Too much of it has to be paid for and YouTube could end up hurting itself.
Other Comments
  • 17 Hide
    DRosencraft , May 6, 2013 4:08 PM
    I have neither Netflix nor Hulu Plus, and will not be signing up for something like this. However, I can understand why they would make this move. My concern is over how much of the content on YouTube now will be migrated to this scheme in the coming months and years. The fact that it has so much free content is a part of what made YouTube so immediately powerful. Too much of it has to be paid for and YouTube could end up hurting itself.
  • 3 Hide
    internetlad , May 6, 2013 4:14 PM
    april fools was months ago. . .
    Seriously though, the people making money will still be retarded VBloggers. Nobody is going to make "TV Shows", at least nothing of any quality.
  • 0 Hide
    rocknrollz , May 6, 2013 4:38 PM
    But channels like freddiew, corridor digital, ERB, and vsauce could really benefit from more money to help keep their channels up.
  • 5 Hide
    Gundam288 , May 6, 2013 4:54 PM
    I will not pay for this, if they start restricting videos/channels then I will move on to something else, like nico nico douga which is now in english. At least it's something new.
  • 3 Hide
    tului , May 6, 2013 5:30 PM
    I'd pay 1.99 a month to never see those damn "must watch for 5 seconds" ads at the start of videos. Especially as an American expat living in Mexico. I get beaner ads constantly. I realize it's using my IP address, but the fact that my account is American, doesn't have dago selected as the language(and if there was an option to never show Spanish crap I'd select it), they should show me ads I can at least understand. Hell, now that I think about it, I'd pay a bit more to never hear hablo taco loco again.
  • 0 Hide
    danwat1234 , May 6, 2013 6:28 PM
    and then we'll see occasionally updated torrents of all the contents of a popular channel.
    Channel paid subscriptions make sense, helps make Youtube more of a business for businesses
  • 5 Hide
    danwat1234 , May 6, 2013 6:30 PM
    @tului; Adblock plus plugin gets rid of youtube ads, and facebook, ads, and...nearly sideways8 more sites
  • 0 Hide
    itchyisvegeta , May 6, 2013 6:32 PM
    As long as the ones who posted the videos get the choices to put their channels in the subscription service, and not leave it up to youtube, then this is pretty cool; because it will be more competition for netflix and hulu. Competition is good. If google/youtube picks the channels, we are screwed.
  • 0 Hide
    therabiddeer , May 6, 2013 9:05 PM
    Netflix, Hulu and Amazon offer professional quality content that costs a lot of money. Youtube offers people with a webcam and SOMETIMES a handheld. These are different services and I would rather YouTube stay as it is and let these people try to migrate something onto Netflix/hulu/amazon instead.
  • 0 Hide
    garrick , May 6, 2013 9:26 PM
    There are some people who make some youtube content private and then charge people a fee to gain access to "premium" content.
    I guess this is a more legit method of doing the same thing.
  • 0 Hide
    Gundam288 , May 7, 2013 4:58 AM
    @danwat1234, yes but it doesn't get rid of the ad videos that play before or during the video you are trying to watch.
    If youtube wanted to charge $2 a month to get rid of ALL ads, I'm pretty sure people would jump for it, I know I would really think about it. But per channel is pretty much not worth it as there are so many of them.
  • 0 Hide
    g00fysmiley , May 7, 2013 5:05 AM
    if they could get actual content and channels then maybe. if it is video bloggers... pass
  • 0 Hide
    hydac7 , May 7, 2013 8:04 AM
    I will never pay youtube anything
  • 0 Hide
    spentshells , May 7, 2013 8:41 AM
    Dvd's and cd's to begin making record sales again.....
  • -1 Hide
    gm0n3y , May 7, 2013 10:44 AM
    I find it hard to believe that this model will be successful. However, if any company can pull it off it is Google. I suppose that if I could pay $1.99/month to get access to all of the content (and it was of higher quality as mentioned in the article) AND it got rid of all advertisements on the site, then I'd consider it. As mentioned by tului (in a somewhat racist way) it might be worth it just to get rid of the 5-20 second ads before every video (does anyone even watch those?).
  • 0 Hide
    festa_freak , May 8, 2013 5:26 AM
    firefox + adblock guys :/ 
Tom’s guide in the world
  • Germany
  • France
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • UK
Follow Tom’s guide
Subscribe to our newsletter