YouTube might be considering adding subscription content to its streaming platform, in a bid to attract video from larger media corporations. Any potential deal wouldn't affect existing content with any sort of paywall, but YouTube might seek to incorporate live sports, music and entertainment offerings, according to the New York Post.
It was recently reported that historically free video platform Hulu is moving toward having its users authenticate their accounts by entering in a pay-service account number from satellite or cable providers. Pay service Netflix has produced a new season of Arrested Development, and even Amazon has been said to be in talks regarding creating an original series of its own. No word on whether YouTube might delve into creating original content, but big media companies have been weary of posting their shows on the platform for free, considering YouTube's ad-only business model, regardless of the fact that its 800 million users stream about three billion hours of video per month, with projected ad sales of $2 billion to $3 billion per year.
Google-owned YouTube presently has a movie rental service, and also streams pay-per-view cricket games via a partnership with WillowTV. CEO Salar Kamangar hinted at a possible premium subscription service at an industry event in January - “We’re a media platform and we want to have a business model that media partners demand.”
A YouTube spokesperson commented on the matter, “We have long maintained that different content requires different types of payment models. The important thing is that, regardless of the model, our creators succeed on the platform and viewers find more content to watch", adding "There are a lot of our content creators that believe they would benefit from subscriptions.”