Given the extraordinary number of videos streamed every day – heck, every minute – from YouTube, it’s no wonder that the company is always on the lookout for new ways to generate revenue from that content.
Now, according to the Financial Times, the video website is about to launch a monthly subscription fee – said to be around the $1.99 mark, that’s approximately £1.30 in UK pounds – for viewers to access certain channels.
The move has been rumoured for a while, partly since YouTube launched dedicated channels from specific big-name producers like BBC Worldwide, ITN and Channel 4, and partly since the company handed out substantial funds to independent producers, such as Jamie Oliver, to come up with new content for the site. It’s not yet known which channels will use the new subscription service though.
The monthly fee could enable viewers to watch exclusive content, possibly ad-free, as well as an array of archived shows. There may also be new content created specifically for online viewing, funded by the revenue.
At the moment, YouTube makes its money from serving up video ads alongside static adverts on top of user videos, with a billion viewers seeing an astonishing 6 billion hours of video each month.
YouTube has not confirmed the subscription plan so far but has accepted it’s looking into new ways of making money which will include some form of subscription services.
And parent company Google has previously said that different payment models are being looked into and requested from video producers.