Paid Subscriptions Now on YouTube
YouTube has just announced that it is launching a subscription based program where users can pay to access specific channels. The company said the purpose of this program is to create more flexibility in monetizing and distributing content for the channels. Now competing with the likes of Netflix, the new program could create competition for cable and TV operators in the future.
The Google owned company has launched the trial scheme for channels on its website. To start the program, a small number of content makers will offer their channel for subscriptions starting from $0.99 a month and each will offer a 14-day free trial. The program will start with 53 channels, however, announced on its blog, the company will be rolling out more channels in the coming weeks and as new channels appear. Some of the channels involved in the initial phase include National Geographic, Ultimate Fighting Championship and Sesame Street. The new subscription service will be available in 10 countries to start.
As the world’s largest video website, YouTube has spoken about its intentions to introduce paid channels many times so it is no secret that it wants to be a major player in quality content. Although the move could pose as a threat to cable and TV operations, a media analyst with BTIG LLC said this would not be in the near future. To prepare for the launch, YouTube has invested over $100 million to help create and promote specialized channels focusing on a wide range of topics.
With the paid subscription model available on YouTube, the video website will be competing with Netflix, Hulu and Amazon as alternatives to traditional paid TV. I think this is a good move for YouTube especially since the company claims that a billion people around the world use the service every month. What will be interesting to see is if users will be willing to pay when the site’s content has been free to watch thus far. Do you think people will be willing to pay?
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