YouTube could introduce paid channels as soon as this spring, reports Ad Age.
Monthly subscriptions would cost between $1 and $5, and would include original sitcoms, live event streams and content libraries, like pay-per-view. Financial advice and self-help shows would also be on offer.
The Google-owned company is looking to gin up ad revenue, while going head-to-head with traditional TV. In terms of advertising, YouTube's done all right for itself (remember the $8 million check Psy cashed in for "Gangnam Style?"). But the key to the model's success will rest on its content and whether users are willing to pay for it. Partner content is totally free, and most of these companies have spent years cross-promoting and drawing subscribers.
To ensure the project's success, YouTube reportedly solicited help from several media companies with built-in followings, including Machinima, Maker Studios and Fullscreen, said Ad Age. It also looked beyond current partnerships to solicit ideas.
If the rumor turns out to be true, which many believe it is, YouTube will have their work cut out. But if the model proves successful—a likelier outcome considering 64% of teens and young adults discover new music through the service, per Nielsen—it could generate a serious windfall.
[via Ad Age]
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