Coming this spring, YouTube will be adding experimental, premium subscription channels which viewers will pay for. The subscription fees will initially range from $1 to $5 a month. YouTube has called on a group of unconfirmed channel producers to create purchasable channels for viewers. For those of you who are nervous or skeptical about this idea, rest assured, you will not be paying for your regular YouTube account. There will simply be additional channels that will become optional.
This new path within YouTube’s video platform is an attempt to entice their audience to switch from cable companies to a more a la carte style of viewing. You all know how costly cable and satellite subscriptions can become. Often, the viewer desires specific channels that will significantly increase the cost. For example, sports fans may only be interested in the sports package, but will also have to purchase a long list of other channels in order to get their favorite games. This also pertains to movie channels and other special networks. This new paid subscription option will allow you to pay for what you want to watch, and nothing more. Youtube will bring you specialized channels at a much lower cost than satellite and cable companies, since you won’t be receiving a bulk of unwanted channels.
While YouTube is still considering this as an experimental project, the idea is not a new one for this video platform. Last year at AllThingsD media conference, YouTube CEO Salar Kamanger, discussed the potential of poaching lesser cable networks that find it difficult to accumulate a large audience on cable TV. Taking these types of channels online could create a direct line for their committed viewers, with a much lower fee.
At this point it is unclear which channels will be included in the launch of the paid programs; however it is speculated that YouTube may be leaning towards developers such as Machinima, Maker Studios, and Full Screen. All of which have proved the ability to draw large followings in the video realm. The exact launch date for the new paid channels have yet to be announced, but it’s been said they may be introduced sometime in April.
As the consumer, what are your opinions on paying for premium YouTube channels?