YouTube may start streaming TV shows, for a fee

Google currently airs some TV shows on YouTube but according to reports from All Things Digital the web giant could be ready to offer first-run shows for a fee.

All things digital sources insiders at Google who claim that "Google's video site has been trying to convince the TV industry to let it stream individual shows for a fee". Apple and Amazon both offer shows for download without commercials priced at $1.99 per episode. YouTube currently runs a small amount of TV shows that are advert supported and which stream through the browser.

It's not yet clear exactly what content YouTube would offer but in the UK Google recently began streaming full length Channel 4 TV shows. Neighbours and The Gadget Show, both popular amongst Brits are now also available on the current TV streaming service. The current service is supported by adverts.

If the YouTube streaming goes ahead then it could be big competition against sites like Hulu (only available in the US) that stream TV shows. It's rumoured that Hulu is considering a subscription based model too. The big problem for Google will be convincing the general public to cough up hard earned cash for web TV. In a digital age where it's all too easy to stream TV shows free from competing video sites or download them from peer to peer file sharing sites illegally it's not a tried and testing method having to pay to stream them.

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