Youtube has announced on its official blog that it has launched a pilot program in partnership with select content creators on the medium which will allow users to pay for their monthly subscription to certain channels. The cost for the subscription in the pilot phase will start from $0.99 a month.
Every paid channel will have a 14 day free trial period after which the subscription rates will apply. Discounted yearly rates will be provided to users on many channels. Once you subscribe to a particular channel you will be able to access them from your computer, mobile device or TV by using your Youtube account. The company hasn’t specified whether it will be taking a cut of the revenue from the paid subscriptions, as is the case with most content delivery platforms and marketplaces. It also hasn’t clarified whether content from the paid channels will have ads during the video or not! Since people are watching paid channels, I think Youtube won’t generally include ads in this experience as I am sure that it would frustrate users. The pilot is not open for participation in India yet. There is no information on when it is coming to the country. Here is a list of all the channels which are currently participating in the pilot.
Youtube has big potential to replace TV in the next few years completely and paid subscriptions are just are just one step in transforming Youtube to become more like how TV operates, especially Satellite TV. However, the key difference between established mainstream media corporations and platforms like Youtube is that Youtube democratizes the whole process of content creation and brings the least common denominator to the quality and nature of content rather just slick production laced content which is designed for a mass audience. Youtube thus can get anyone with talent to put their stuff out there and reach out a certain number of like minded people who dig that content and pay for it in a monthly manner, thus supporting independent content creators.
Another thing to look at is that Youtube and Google in general are taking incredibly slow and measured steps towards making Google services more commerce based rather than ones that are supported by advertising. This is a new way ahead for Google which has pretty much become the biggest tech company in the world on the basis of the advertising opportunities and features that they offer. Thus we could see many content and productivity related services requiring paid subscription in the future.
What are your thoughts on such a possibility? Share them with us.
Story Source | Youtube Blog