Earlier this week, it was rumored that YouTube would roll out the oft-rumored paid channel subscriptions this week. That rumor was right on the money.
YouTube announced today that it's launching a pilot program that sees a number of its partners offering exclusive content behind a monthly fee. It says the move to paid channels was made after its partners requested more ways to make money beyond ad revenue.
As for details, every paid channel charges a small monthly fee starting at $0.99 a month. The most expensive channel comes in at $7.99 a month. One channel, Smart.TV, gives access to 7 channels under its brand for $9.99 a month. Some channels also offer yearly subscriptions with some as low as $24.99 a year or as high as $67.99 a year.
The selection at the moment isn't super great, but there are definitely a few standouts. For starters, film studio Asylum is offering its full movies on YouTube for $2.99 a month. My personal favorite is the DHX Retro TV channel which offers episodes of the Super Mario Bros. Super Show and the infamously bad Legend of Zelda cartoon for $2.99 a month.
YouTube notes that subscribers will be able to watch content on PCs, mobile devices and TV. They will also soon be adding the ability to subscribe via mobile devices.
For now, paid channels are only available to specific channels that YouTube picks out. In the coming weeks, however, it will open up a submission process for qualifying channels to apply for a paid channel. If you're a YouTube creator and are interested in paid channels, you'll want to tell Google that you're interested today.