According to unnamed sources from AdAge, YouTube may be looking to get into a paid channel service as early as this spring. Starting with approximately 25 channels, the website will offer them from anywhere between $1 to $5 per month.
And unlike other online video services, such as Netflix and Hulu Plus, which offer already existing TV shows, YouTube is looking to incorporate premium (paid) services into already existing, online-only channels the likes of Machinima and Maker Studios; these channels already bring in millions of views.
YouTube has been thinking about a subscription model for some time now. CEO Salar Kamangar stated last year that he wanted to target second- or third-tier cable networks that have trouble gaining enough popularity to charge subscription fees. A Google spokesman had the following to say about the service:
“We have long maintained that different content requires different types of payment models,” The important thing is that, regardless of the model, our creators succeed on the platform. There are a lot of our content creators that think they would benefit from subscriptions, so we’re looking at that.”
The idea behind this model is to offer users an alternative to traditional TV while increasing ad revenue. According to AdAge, YouTube is also looking into charging for libraries of videos, live events, and other informative advice shows.