Reuters reports that YouTube is currently exploring ways to offer some of its video programming in a subscription-based scenario. This could pave the way for certain cable channels to be available outside the typical bundle offered by cable network providers like Comcast and Time Warner Cable.
YouTube boss Salar Kamangar said at the Reuters Media and Technology Summit on Thursday that cable channels with smaller audiences will in the future migrate to the Web and become available on an "a la carte" basis. Some of those channels receive little or no affiliate fees from cable distributors, and would be a perfect fit in YouTube's own subscription service.
Kamangar said that some of the original video programs featured on the recently-launched YouTube "channels" may also be thrown into the subscription package. "We don't have anything to announce now," he said. "It is something that's really important to a lot of our top existing content creators as well as ones that aren't on YouTube today, so we're taking very seriously and we're thinking about it very carefully."
Kamangar's comments arrive after reports surfaced claiming that the Department of Justice was investigating cable companies over bandwidth caps. There's speculation that said companies are intentionally placing data caps, preventing customers from using services like YouTube and Netflix while offering their own streaming video services "on the house."
According to unnamed sources, the Department of Justice has already spoken with Netflix and Hulu. Netflix has been the most outspoken of the two, complaining that cable companies are setting data caps on purpose to prevent competition from steering traffic away from their own streaming video services. Just last month Netflix said Comcast discriminates against the streaming giant, referring to Comcast's exemption of its XfinityTV app on Xbox from the bandwidth cap.
YouTune's is the world's #1 video streaming service, pumping out more than 4 billion streams every day. The company earns revenue through advertisement including those annoying pre-roll video ads and sponsorships of certain parts of the site.