YouTube may currently preparing for the launch of a new website feature this spring – paid subscriptions. According to a report by Adage, individual channels on the video platform site will try to raise the interest of advertisers to look at different ways to reach customers, rather than with traditional television.
Speculation is that YouTube has been in talks with multiple producers and asked them to brainstorm on possible channels they would like to create and charge users for access to. Currently, the rumor is channels would cost is between $1 and $5 a month. Also, an article by Adage reports YouTube is considering charging for content libraries and access to live events, a pay-per-view, as well as self-help or financial advice shows.
YouTube has been in talks about the possibility of paid subscriptions for some time now. A year ago, at at AllThingsD media conference, YouTube CEO Salar Kamangar talked on stage about the potential to aproach second- or third-tier cable networks that were having trouble building big enough audiences on cable TV to command subscription fees from distributors. Internet distribution, the thinking goes, would give some of these networks a more direct line to their passionate base with lower costs .
“If we have a subscription model,” Kamangar said at the time, “then absolutely that’s something that becomes possible.”
“We have long maintained that different content requires different types of payment models,” a Google spokesman said, in a statement. ‘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.”
YouTube is the third most visited site in the United States, behind Facebook and Google. To put how popular Youtube is in perspective, consider these statistics from YouTube’s site:
- Around 60 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute which estimates out to an hour of footage per second.
- Over 4 billion YouTube videos are viewed each day.
- In 2011, YouTube surpassed 1 trillion views in 2011. That’s almost 140 views for every person on Earth.
It would be interesting to see if Youtube teamed up with popular channels, such as ESPN, HBO or Mtv, to give subscribers what they are really after – a personalized network filled with only the channels they want to watch – without the filler nonsense, for a decent rate.