YouTube to Announce Plan to Charge for Some Channels

| by Michael Allen
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Google is planning to charge for about 50 of YouTube’s special video channels.

An announcement from Google could come this week, notes the Financial Times.

The plan would charge viewers $1.99 a month to subscribe to specific YouTube channels that produce TV shows and films.

However, it remains to be seen if YouTube's viewers will pay after getting content for free since the website's inception.

Advertising on YouTube and other video sites has risen, but is small compared television ad budgets.

YouTube would not confirm a subscription plan to the Financial Times, but did say that it was “looking into creating a subscription platform that could bring even more great content to YouTube for our users to enjoy and provide our creators with another vehicle to generate revenue from their content, beyond the rental and ad-supported models we offer."

Howcast, World Wrestling Entertainment, The Onion and Machinima are currently some of YouTube's channel partners, but it's not known if they will become subscription channels. 

Cable and satellite channels may possibly use YouTube’s reported subscription service to make money from old and new shows.

According to the Financial Times, YouTube has spent more than $200 million on start-up channels, which have greatly helped expand YouTube's audience.

“We’re seeing a myriad of brands increasing their media spend,” stated Robert Kyncl, global head of content partnerships for YouTube.

Hollywood is also backing certain YouTube channels. DreamWorks Animation recently bought Awesomeness TV, a teen-specific YouTube channel.

Source: Financial Times