According to the Financial times Google could launch a new subscription service as soon as this week, it would mean that up to 50 YouTube channels could be offering a paid subscription to view their video content for $1.99 a month.
There has been whispers among the YouTube community about the reported new subscription service for a while now, the rumours looked to be true when the YouTube v4.3.9 update bought with it some not so secret coding –
<string name=”paid_channel_subscribe_message”>You can only subscribe to this paid channel on your computer.</string>
<string name=”paid_channel_unsubscribe_message”>You can only unsubscribe from this paid channel on your computer.</string>
Although Google told the FT they had nothing to announce, it’s obvious from the above code they have something big brewing, this comes after they recently pledged $200 million in marketing support for it’s original content channels, it would seem like changes to the way we use YouTube are coming.
At an event in New York Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt categorised YouTube as “another distribution channel”, a subscription service could see YouTube bump heads with the likes of Netflix. A deal with Warner Music Group has already been signed in preparation for a music subscription service, just how many pies have Google got their finger in?
With many YouTube Partners not particularly stoked with the Ad revenue they currently receive and YouTube openly being in favour of original content it makes sense that they’re planning to offer their content creators another way to monetize their videos.
YouTube Vice President Robert Kyncl told a group of reporters that subscriptions were “incredibly important as a tool to create additional revenue streams for content creators”, and that “while getting people to pay might be tough initially, over time, a lot of people will figure it out,” reports The Wall Street Journal.
Are you prepared to figure it out, or will YouTube see a dramatic drop in it’s viewer ship?