As predicted by the Financial Times and reported here on Tubeshooter on May 6th, YouTube has now officially launched a subscription-based service for viewers.
Beginning with what it calls “a small group of partners … with subscription fees starting at $0.99 per month”, each channel will come with a 14-day free trial.
Channels include content from Cars.tv, Bigstar movies, GayDirect and Pets.tv (the full list is at www.youtube.com/channels/paid_channels) and subscribers content will be watchable across PCs, tablets, phones and TVs.
More interestingly for existing video producers, YouTube says more paid channels will be coming soon as “a self-service feature for qualifying partners”, with a specific link for people to express an interest in joining the programme.
YouTube says it has more than a million channels now online and the subscription model is a response to demands for more flexibility in monetizing and distributing content from creators.