Media

YouTube may begin offering paid channel subscriptions

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A new crop of television-quality video content may be heading to YouTube soon — but not unless you pay for it.

YouTube has apparently reached out to a handful of content partners about launching new paid subscription-only channels, according to an AdAge report published today that cites sources familiar with the matter.

AdAge’s report indicates that the paid channel subscriptions may debut this spring and that pricing would range between $1 to $5 a month. It’s unclear, based on AdAge’s sources, if the subscription fee would cover everything within a channel or only specific portions, such as its video library, access to special live streams, or new episodic video content.

While unconfirmed, adding paid subscription channels to its business model is feasible for the streaming video giant.

YouTube has previously dabbled in allowing its content partners to charge viewers for access to its live video streams (pay-per-view), which it announced back in April. The site has also invested over $200 million to cultivate and entice its channel partners to create premium content for the site — meaning YouTube does have a relationship with the kinds of content producers needed to make paid channel subscriptions work.

Also, a subscription-based content model would be easy for YouTube to roll out since this is currently already being done through its Google Play/Android platform.

We’ve reached out to YouTube for confirmation and clarification of its plans for paid subscriptions and will update this post with any new information.

Photo via Korosirego/Flickr