Starting today YouTube are launching a pilot subscription fee on a small number of its channels. This development has long been muted by many technology commentators and places the video website alongside new social media startups such as Pheed in offering paid channels to its users.
Shows to Broadcast
Programmes that have already signed up to the new feature include Sesame Street and UFC. A subscription fee starting at $0.99 per month will apply to the content placed on these channels, with an option of beginning with a 14-day free trial.
The paid channel service follows on from the partner channel program which was introduced by YouTube early last year.
Focus on TV
Robert Kyncl, head of global content for YouTube has highlighted how the site is ready to take on TV as the main source for entertainment, saying that “TV is one-way. YouTube talks back… TV means reach, YouTube means engagement”. YouTube hopes to take TV’s mantle as the main entertainment channel for young people and it is not afraid to say it.
As the subscription fee service has just been launched on the site, it will be a number of months before we can properly ascertain if the new feature has been a success or failure. The chance to earn additional revenue may prove popular amongst channel owners and YouTube personalities but whether a significant number of YouTube audience feel the same way remains to be seen.