Coming Soon: Paid YouTube Subscriptions

But only for 'specialist' channels

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted May 6, 2013 7:37 AM CDT

(Newser) – Might you soon have to pay for the privilege of watching a cat ride around on a Roomba? YouTube is introducing subscriptions, possibly as soon as this week, but don't worry: They're only for "specialist" channels, the Financial Times reports. As many as 50 channels will be available for prices starting at $1.99 a month. It's not clear which channels will be involved, but channel partners include such offerings as the Onion and World Wrestling Entertainment. One source says the plan will allow channels to produce original shows and films, and another says cable and satellite channels may offer up both old and new programs as part of the program.

YouTube told FT it has nothing to announce yet, but is "looking into creating a subscription platform that could bring even more great content to YouTube for our users to enjoy." The Verge notes that the move will put Google-owned YouTube in direct competition with Netflix and other video-on-demand services. The move comes as YouTube now boasts a billion users, who watch 6 billion hours of video per month.

Tara Levy, Global Marketing Director, Ads, for Google and YouTube, gives a presentation at Advertising Week on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 in New York.
Tara Levy, Global Marketing Director, Ads, for Google and YouTube, gives a presentation at Advertising Week on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 in New York.   (Photo by Jason DeCrow/Invision for Advertising Week/AP Images)
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