Reports Say YouTube is Launching Paid Subscriptions

youtube-bannerLast week, we mentioned that Facebook was planning to supplement its revenue by launching a paid private messaging service. Now, reports suggest that YouTube could be launching its own new paid service to put some more money in Google’s pockets.

Google adding premium channels to YouTube isn’t an unexpected news. The move has been rumoured for a while as YouTube started looking into YouTube exclusive content to rival the original programming on the likes of Netflix and Amazon. The plan is to use revenue from subscriptions to premium channels to finance the production of this premium content.

According to The Financial Times, the premium service will include up to 50 channels that will charge individually for subscriptions. These subscriptions will be priced starting at $1.99 per month. The FT reports that this program could launch as early as this week.

I can’t help but think that Google and YouTube is playing with fire here. YouTube has long been a sort of democratization of both film making and the internet. There are plenty of people who went from unemployed to being celebrities thanks to the power of YouTube.

My concern is that adding premium content could change things in a big way on YouTube. I’m very worried that we’ll be inundated with ads for premium content. That could come up as recommended videos or their videos could get put at the top of all of your search results. Worse, some popular channels could get hidden behind this paywall. That may not happen until the near future but would you be surprised if Justin Bieber got put behind a paywall that his die-hard Beliebers would likely be willing to get beyond? I think YouTube is heading toward the dreaded slippery slope.

Source: Mashable – YouTube Launching Paid Subscriptions to Some Video Channels

About Steve Murray

Steve is the founder and editor of The Lowdown Blog and et geekera. On The Lowdown Blog, he often writes about motorsports, hockey, politics and pop culture. Over on et geekera, Steve writes about geek interests and lifestyle. Steve is on Twitter at @TheSteveMurray.

Posted on May 6, 2013, in Tech and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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