Google to announce paid YouTube subscriptions at 15 a month

first_imgGoogle has been working hard to change the face of original content on YouTube. Basically, they want their premium streaming video to feel more like television. Now, with millions tuning in every week to subscribed channels, Google is looking to roll out paid subscriptions for qualifying content.If you take a look at regularly produced content on YouTube in the past few months, like Felicia Day and Will Wheaton’s Geek and Sundry or the made-for-YouTube series H+, it’s entirely possible to fill your subscription bar with multiple hours a week of great original content. Maybe not quite enough to watch YouTube in the same way you watch cable television, depending on your preferences, but there’s been a significant boost in quality all the same. This isn’t by accident, Google has been working hard with content creators to help them form several channels of great unique material that can only be found on YouTube.Ad revenue from a healthy YouTube channel can be enough to keep an operation of 2-3 people happy, but these new channels are significantly larger scale operations with budgets that can only be reached with the help of some guaranteed monthly cash. To help keep the quality of this new content trending upwards, Google plans to offer certain channels the ability to charge a monthly fee for their content.Unlike Google’s video rental and purchase service, which has been baked into the Google Play Store, YouTube paid subscriptions would grant users access to content from the creator as long as they continue to pay that subscription. The rates that have been discussed so far go from $1 to $5 per month, and presumably Google will offer some extra efforts when it comes to making sure the content behind the pay wall can’t be downloaded and shared with the rest of the world. There’s currently no mention of whether or not paying for content would remove advertising from that channel as long as you were signed in, or like Hulu Plus where users pay for the privilege of being advertised to on top of their subscription.This could be a great move for Google, in that it would allow larger production houses to continue releasing content that is expensive to produce. With companies like Netflix and Hulu working to produce original content exclusive to their services, YouTube would be able to toss their hat in that arena and compete for the attention of the users. Unlike the other two, Google maintains no control outside of their Terms of Service when it comes to the content that is created. This will appeal to many users who already enjoy these higher quality channels on YouTube today, though it will be up to the content creators to raise the bar and create a reason to pay for the content that had been previously been available for free.last_img

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