Free Online Video No More?


YouTube Launches Paid Subscriptions

The age of free online video content may soon be over. YouTube is said to introduce paid subscriptions as soon as this week or in a few weeks time.

According to Financial Times, YouTube will start charging users who want to subscribe to the specialized channels on the video platform. Anonymous sources inform that the website will also offer paid channels for music, entertainment, children’s programming and many others. The monthly subscription to these channels will cost $1.99.

However, it is too early to announce the death of free video. YouTube is said to start the service as a test product. Most of the videos on YouTube will still be free… for now. Few months ago the Dubai-based du telecom tried to introduce paid subscription to its video hosting platform with a minimum fee of $2 a month without success due to lack of interst and variety of valuable content.

But why would YouTube make you to pay? Apart from the most obvious reason (which is higher revenue for the company itself), the video platform has been pressed by companies and YouTube stars to come up with a new way that will allow them to make more profit from their content. Many of the creators on the website are not happy with the fact that ads bring them really small revenue. With the new service, YouTube will apparently give them a more profitable alternative. The question is, however, will users be willing to pay for something that was free for quite a long time. Most probably, with the time they will adjust to the new trends and rules of the internet.

If YouTube’s paid subscriptions become popular that will definitely transform the online video sector. Currently, the profits in this industry come mainly from advertising. An additional source of revenue will improve the content published on the website since it will attract more content creators to the market.

Despite that, even though the paid subscription model is already used with magazines and newspapers, for example, it will be something rather new in the online video industry and YouTube in particular. Although, the popular video platform does offer some paid services, like pay-per-view, not many users will be thrilled to pay to watch videos which were free until recently. As a matter of fact, that may actually encourage YouTube users to turn to pirate sites and content. Clearly, no one will win from that.

It is believed that YouTube will share the paid subscription news as early as this week. However, for now the company is not willing to reveal much information on it. Still it is not denying the rumours. From YouTube, insiders said that they have “nothing to announce,” but also that they are really planning to launch a “subscription platform.” From the company stated that this will add “more great content” on the website and it will serve as an additional “vehicle to generate revenue” for YouTube creators.

It appears that the voice of the creators was finally heard from YouTube. Now it’s time for that of the users. So dear user, are you willing to pay for YouTube subscriptions or you prefer to jump into the pirate’s boat?


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