Over a year ago, YouTube started a big push toward making the site more channel-centric. Not only did they facilitate the launch of a bunch of new original content channels across all types of categories (sports, automotive, comedy, etc.), but they also changed up the way the site looks to encourage users to subscribe to channels.
In all, Google invested over $100 million into new original channels. Recent reports have suggested that Google is investing even more into original YouTube content.
Now, it looks like Google is looking to offer another incentive for content creators to produce for YouTube, as well as another reason for advertisers to flock.
AdAge is reporting that YouTube is gearing up to launch paid channel subscriptions. They quote multiple sources familiar with the plans who say that the paid subscriptions could debut as early as Q2 of this year.
It’s unknown exactly which channels would launch as part of this new model, but the sources said that users would be asked to pay between $1 and $5 a month to gain access to the paid channels.
According to AdAge, “YouTube is also considering charging for content libraries and access to live events, a la pay-per-view, as well as self-help or financial advice shows.”
This is not the first time we’ve heard talk of new paid channel subscriptions. Back in June of last year, YouTube CEO Salr Kamangar talked paid subscriptions at the Reuters Media and Tech Summit. The main focus was on certain cable channels who could find more success on YouTube with a subscription, but he also discussed other content creators on YouTube being able to charge for their content.
The report indicates that any paid subscription model would most likely be small (25 or less channels) at first.
The big question is whether or not YouTube users think there’s anything on YouTube worth paying for – and if not, who can create that?