Google rumored to launch paid YouTube channels this spring

Would you pay to watch your favorite video channel on YouTube? That's apparently what Google is hoping will happen, and it may be on its way very soon. The company is rumored to be working with a small number of popular YouTube video channel operators on a pilot program that could result in paid video subscriptions as early as this spring.

AdAge.com reports, via unnamed sources, that Google plans to team up with established YouTube partners like Machinima, Maker Studios and Fullscreen to offer up paid subscription tiers, as well as bringing in new content brands. The launch will likely involve no more than 25 YouTube channels at first to test the waters.

Google started offering YouTube feature videos for rent in 2010, but allowing video channels to charge money to access their content could turn YouTube into a true online alternative to a cable TV network, if enough people sign up for them. The company has hinted in the past that they have been thinking about subscription plans for YouTube but have yet to launch such offerings.

Google announced in 2011 that it was helping to fund a number of YouTube channels in the US. The efforts were successful enough that Google announced an expansion of those plans in October 2012 to fund channels made for the France, Germany and the UK markets. However, some YouTube channel creators have apparently complained Google has not done enough to help promote their efforts.

Source: AdAge.com | Image via Google

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Torolol said,
i'll prepares my video downloader.

True. But google are the one who offering APIs for video downloaders. If Google decided to block other sources from sniffing the videos, then we are doomed! lol

Well, yes, this could turn YouTube into a true cable TV alternative, but they need even better quality than them... Mainly because there are already good quality channels that are free, and if these start becoming paid, that would be tottaly adsurb. So, YouTube needs to compete with the good free ones and the cable networks... What will they do?

If they start releasing Breaking Bad or Games of Thrones-like and above, it might work, in my opinion. Otherwise, I really don't have any idea. As I said, if I just see "normal" channels suddenly becoming paid... Well, you get it!

Some people here don't understand what potential YouTube has as a quality cable alternative. Completely unshackled by the bureaucracy of cable television and in favor of giving consumers exactly what they want. Right now, you have very successful people running quality channels with consistent content generating ad revenue. It would be absolutely fantastic if those people could offer a paid subscription to their viewers who want to support the channel and not have ads.

This may not be what Google is doing, but it's step toward what they should be doing and is in line with what other online content distributors are doing.

People stating they have Netflix or Hulu: This is in no way the same thing. You basically pay to watch what's already on cable television. This is completely new content that is only on YouTube.

More and more Google stuff needs to be payed for. In other news: 20 dollar per month for Google Search.

Anyway, I stopped using YouTube a while ago, now I'm on Dailymotion...

I would, but content providers are the ones who make the rules - for example, the region crap. Content delivery services like Youtube/El Goog don't have a say in this, so no change for me.

Maybe, depends what was offered, plus the existing channels i watch for free, I wouldn't mind if they simply made a premium subscription with some extras if you pay.

Something else though, it could help me support the youtubers that I watch, since I use adBlock (which is kind of selfish to be completely honest), and if you subscribe to a channel it damn well better be ad free.

I'm in favor of this so long as it's done right, subscriptions are optional, and the benefits of subscribing are worth it. I don't know what those benefits might be (besides no ads) perhaps the ability to watch in HD, but then watching in HD costs google more, not youtubers, and those are the people this should benefit the most imo.

I just hope this is not real. If that really happens , then I'll go to other video services.

I guess depends on what Google have to offer. Just like how they have HTML5 now and ads are disabled. Only few videos has flash.

But I'll leave, if Google went to far.

I won't pay to see smosh or AVGN xD Youtube Poop maybe... depends how good it is. But no to Music Videos, Movies and other things that are currently free

No way in Hell. These "popular" channels get enough money from YouTube as it is. If the likes of Yogscast, which lets face it, is at least considered one of the those top with 3 million subscribers, there is no way I'd pay a subscription for it, however much I'd miss it.

Hopefully it's just movie-like channels going that route, i.e movies released via youtube.

Question is, where will it end.

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