YouTube paid subscriptions have been announced on Google’s video streaming service’s blog, offering content creators a different method of monetizing their work.
The YouTube paid subscriptions pilot program currently includes partners that offer channels starting at $0.99, each one of them with a 14-day trial and discounted rates that are offered to you if you choose to subscribe for a full year. The service is available, to kick things off, in 10 countries (but more are sure to follow soon enough).
A look at the paid subscriptions page will show you that the number of currently offered channels is 53, including Cars.TV, for $1.99 a month, UFC Select, at $5.99 a month, or PGA Golf Academy, at $4.99 per month or $34.99 a year. A lot more will certainly be available soon for your subscribing pleasure, especially since content creators can sign up to offer a paid channel at the moment.
What could this mean in the future?
With YouTube being the biggest video streaming in the world, at over 1 billion monthly users, this move could translate, over time, into a pretty serious shift in the way we currently consume video content.
Until now, content creators could only make money from advertising, but allowing paid channels, with no advertising, could mean that traditional TV networks could shift their attention to YouTube and create channels. For example, you could be able to stream your favorite sports events, TV series, movies and many other things by just paying a monthly fee. Also, bands could offer exclusive content, or even concert streams to their fans, universities could show classes… the possibilities are endless.
Not to mention that it would turn YouTube into one serious Netflix competitor, because it’s safe to assume that Google will try to get the model into as many countries as possible, and it has the possibilities to do so very fast. Over time, it even could be possible for YouTube to replace cable completely for some of us.
Do you think YouTube paid channels are the future of watching TV?