YouTube is planning to unveil a new set of channels that will require you to pay to watch them, according to media reports this week.
The content on the new channels will be an add-on to the millions of free videos you can watch on YouTube. It is not known yet if these paid videos will have advertising.
The Financial Times has reported that some viewers may be charged as little as $2 per month for a subscription to some paid channels.
YouTube has said that it wants to create a new subscription platform that gives partners a new way to make revenue, beyond video rentals and putting ads around free content.
YouTube executives also hinted at new pay channels in the works at a preview event in April before a meeting in New York with potential advertisers.
A pay model on YouTube would be intriguing because it could help producers of the videos to make more money from niche audiences. This is very different from how YouTube currently makes money. The most popular videos make money from advertising only.
One possible way the pay channels would work is, for example, for a set of video lessons by a computer instructor. If some people want to create a lot of value but only for a small subset of people, a pay channel model could be a great way to generate new content on YouTube and provide new revenue streams for video providers.
The introduction of pay channels on YouTube could take some getting used to. Few are accustomed to YouTube charging money, although the site does sell and rent movies and TV shows.
This could be a new, exciting way for YouTube to make money, and to get around the most annoying aspect of YouTube today: Those aggravating 30 second ads at the beginning of a video that no one watches!
Overall, we are seeing a lot of interesting ventures by Web giants these days, such as Google diving into the same day delivery business. We’ll see how YouTube makes out with its new venture.