The rumors were correct. YouTube has launched its Paid Subscription service allowing users to subscribe to channels for as low as US $0.99 per month. YouTube is expected to get 45% of those earnings while the remaining share goes to channel owners.
Currently there are 53 channels offering content, but pricing is all dependent on the channel owner’s preferences. For instance, TYT Plus has a mix of free (advertisement supported) content and paid content. If you don’t want to pay, you can always check out the free stuff, but if you want to view behind the scenes footage, exclusive interviews, and so on, you’re going to have to fork out $4.99 per month.
Other channels like CARS.tv have a flat rate of $1.99 per month with a 14-day free trial period. I’ve also noticed that many of the channels belong to the same parent company, allowing you the option to subscribe to 8 channels for $9.99 per month, which is about $1.12 per channel if you watch all of them. I haven’t seen any channels offering per-episode based content though, but maybe it may be an option in the future.
Users should take note that channels offering paid content like this won’t feature silly Ray William Johnson cat videos, but full length content that you’d see on TV, which is a pretty good deal in my opinion considering that you’re paying per channel rather than being forced to take a basic plan with channels you won’t ever watch. Like regular YouTube, content can be streamed via your PC, mobile phone, tablet and to your TV (once you have the right equipment).
Content is still limited to the United States though (not sure which other countries have access), so that’s still one of the biggest stumbling blocks for the premium streaming service.
Even though the service is still in its early stages, it’s expected to take off once more channels are added in the next 1-2 years, and we suspect with more major brands joining the game, it could be a real strain on more traditional cable services and even put up a fight against online streaming competitors like Hulu and Netflix.
You can check out the channels here.