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YouTube To Charge For Watching Videos

You may soon have to pay around $Aud5.00 a month to watch videos from specialist YouTube channels. Reports in the Financial Times claim that a paid-for subscription model is expected to launch later this week and will enable producers to make new and exclusive content available online

The video site, owned by Google, is set to launch a paid-for subscription service later this week that will charge users to access content on some of its specialist channels. According to reports in the Financial Times, a single-channel subscription is expected to cost $Aud5.00 a month and will apply to as many as 50 YouTube channels.


More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month.

Over 4 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube.

72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.

70% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US.

YouTube is localized in 53 countries and across 61 languages.

In 2011, YouTube had more than 1 trillion views or around 140 views for every person on Earth.

Millions of free subscriptions happen each day.

Subscriptions allow you to connect with channels you're interested in and keep up with their activity on the site

Paying customers will be able to get access to exclusive videos, TV shows and films from select specialist channels.

Paying a subscription may also remove adverts from free videos.

YouTube revamped the site and introduced channels in December 2011.

In October 2012, the site launched 60 partner channels, including BBC Worldwide On Earth, ITN, the Jamie Oliver Food Channel and Mixmag TV.

Other partners include Channel 4 and Film 4, Howcast and The Onion.

It is not yet known which of these partner channels will be included in YouTube's subscription service when it launches.

A 'person familiar with the plans' told the FT that the channels will show archived content or exclusive previews and clips.

The extra money is also expected to fund new TV and film shows that will be shown exclusively online. Paid-for subscriptions are an alternative way for YouTube to make money, in addition to its advertising revenues.

The new channels have helped expand YouTube's audience to 1bn users who watch 6bn hours of video each month.

You can already subscribe to get updates from channels for free.

It is not yet known which channels will be included in YouTube's subscription model when it launches sometime later this month. YouTube partners including Howcast, BBC and Channel 4 could get extra money from subscriptions to produce new content, or use to it make money from archived clips

YouTube hasn't confirmed the paid-for subscription plans, but a Google spokesman said: 'We're looking into creating a subscription platform that could bring even more great content to YouTube for our users to enjoy and provide our creators with another vehicle to generate revenue from their content, beyond the rental and ad-supported models we offer.'

Rumours about paid-for subscriptions began in January when AdAge reported YouTube had been in touch with a 'small group of channel producers'.

The reports claimed YouTube had asked them to submit applications to create channels that users would have to pay to access.

Then in February, Android fan blog Android Police noticed the YouTube app had been updated to include 'channel subscribe' code.

YouTube is also believed to be considering charging for content libraries and access to live events on a pay-per-view basics

The code appeared to describe a function in the app which tells users they can only subscribe to or unsubscribe from paid channels from their desktop or laptop computers.

It reads: 'You can only subscribe to this paid channel on your computer.'

And: ' You can only unsubscribe from this paid channel on your computer.'

In addition to episodic content, YouTube is also considering charging for content libraries and access to live events on a pay-per-view basics, as well as self-help or financial advice shows.

YouTube is expected to launch the paid-for subscription as an experiment.

The revenue split between YouTube and the channel producers is expected to be similar to the 45-55 split that YouTube currently has with advertising revenue.

At a media conference last year, YouTube's CEO Salar Kamangar said that a subscription model would give TV networks and producers of these networks a more direct line to their audience with lower costs. A Google spokesman added: 'We have long maintained that different content requires different types of payment models. 'There are a lot of our content creators that think they would benefit from subscriptions, so we're looking at that.'

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