YouTube has announced that it is now offering a new subscription model, only this time subscribers must pay a fee to view the content. People will pay as low as $0.99 a month to be able to access content from a select few channels, though YouTube says they will roll this out as a self-serve feature for many other partners in the future. Here is their release statement:
“Every channel has a 14-day free trial, and many offer discounted yearly rates. For example, Sesame Street will be offering full episodes on their paid channel when it launches. And UFC fans can see classic fights, like a full version of their first event from UFC’s new channel. You might run into more of these channels across YouTube. Once you subscribe from a computer, you’ll be able to watch paid channels on your computer, phone, tablet and TV, and soon you’ll be able to subscribe to them from more devices.”
This could turn into a very lucrative source of revenue for many content providers, if it is done right. Obviously if you are paying monthly you are going to want content on a regular basis, likely at least one video or more per month to make this subscription model worth it.
This could be very interesting for news networks that have YouTube shows as in the future they can start charging people for some of their more in depth reporting stories, but I am sure there will be much backlash from viewers who had previously been receiving the same content for free and now need to pay for it.