After a long wait and many rumors, YouTube has finally launched paid channels as a pilot project recently. It would host a few shows that can only be accessed after paying the subscription fees, which are variable and begin from $0.99 a month. The whole list can be accessed through YouTube’s Channels page, which includes shows from the comedy channel, Laugh Factory, and film distributors, Magnet. There are currently around 53 channels that feature on this page. The services are currently not available to Malaysian audience. Paid channels are an expansion of the company’s partner channel program, which it initiated in 2012.
A Competition Could be Brewing
It is widely believed that the new move by YouTube could lead to severe competition between itself and Netflix, which provides video streaming services. The move is also seen as an attempt to counter the traditional television. Yearly discounts would be offered to subscribers as well as a 14-day free trial to attract numbers. Whether the prices will compel a percentage of customers to leave the traditional television is yet to be seen.
Earlier in March, the vice president of YouTube, Robert Kyncl, had said that subscriptions were extremely important for the company, which could act as tools to produce additional streams of revenue. YouTube has already revealed the paid-channel feature codes for its Android app. The company is believed to have invested a whopping $200 million to promote original content. YouTube hopes that subscriptions will help it recover the money back.
Google, which bought YouTube for US$ 1.65 billion in 2006, had earlier revealed that more than one billion people access YouTube every month including the ones accessing the site through smartphones. The company expects that at least a small percentage of these people would subscribe to the new service.
Read More: 32 Free YouTube Channels You Should Check Out
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Are these paid channels any good? I took a quick look and didn’t see anything that I would pay for