YouTube will launch a paid subscription service in the near future, according to a recent report.
The Financial Times is reporting that the video channel is to package a range of its specialist channels into an “à la carte subscription service” in order to fund a greater range of content.
It’s believed that YouTube will pull as many as 50 of its channels into the new paid model, with charges starting from around $1.99 a month. This could happen as early as this week.
YouTube is currently entirely funded by advertising, but television studios only spend a tiny fraction of their budgets on promoting through its channels. One source claims that these TV channels will be interested in using YouTube’s new subscription service to generate revenue from older shows, and will even consider producing new content for it.
YouTube itself had nothing to say of a specific subscription service, but confirmed that it was “looking into creating a subscription platform that could bring even more great content to YouTube for our users to enjoy and provide our creators with another vehicle to generate revenue from their content, beyond the rental and ad-supported models we offer.”
This news represents YouTube stepping into direct competition with the likes of Netflix and Hulu in the video streaming subscription service field.
If you want to learn more about YouTube’s history, and its journey from brief user-generated videos to glossy professional music videos and film trailers, check out A brief history of YouTube: From a trip to the zoo to Gangnam Style.