It is the world’s largest video repository with over 6 billion hours of video being watched each month. Now Youtube is planning to charge for some of those videos according to the financial Times.
The video site, owned by Google, is set to launch a paid-for subscription service later this week that will charge users to access content on some of its specialist channels.
In 2011 YouTube launched its channels. From then, companies as well as individuals launched their own YouTube channels. As of October 2012, YouTube had introduced around 60 partner channels, including BBC Worldwide On Earth, ITN, the Jamie Oliver Food Channel and Mixmag TV. Users can register to any of these channels plus many more for free and whenever a new video is posted on any subscribed channels the users are notified. However, according to the reports, once the new program is launched, only the paid subscribers will be able to watch some exclusive contents, both archived and live, from YouTube’s partner channels.
The in-depth details about ‘paid-for subscription service,’ including subscription fee or channel list are not currently available. However, the fee is expected to be around $2 for a month, which will also give viewers the privilege of watching ad-free entertainment.
A ‘person familiar with the plans’ told the FT that the channels will show archived content or exclusive previews and clips.
The extra money is expected to fund new TV and film shows that will be shown exclusively online.
Rumours about paid-for subscriptions began in January when AdAge reported YouTube had been in touch with a ‘small group of channel producers’.
The reports claimed YouTube had asked them to submit applications to create channels that users would have to pay to access.
Then in February, Android fan blog Android Police noticed the YouTube app had been updated to include ‘channel subscribe’ code.
In addition to episodic content, YouTube is also considering charging for content libraries and access to live events on a pay-per-view basics, as well as self-help or financial advice shows.
YouTube is expected to launch the paid-for subscription as an experiment.
The revenue split between YouTube and the channel producers is expected to be similar to the 45-55 split that YouTube currently has with advertising revenue.