YouTube to Launch $2 Channel Subscriptions?

The video network could charge up to $2 per channel in a new subscription system to launch this week.

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YouTube could be set to start charging up to $2 per month for channel subscriptions later this week.

Reports say the video site owned by Google will offer the single-channel subscription fee for up to 50 premium channels, like a next generation cable network.

A source tells the Financial Times that it will let channel producers create better content and remove adverts so viewers can watch TV shows and videos without delay.

Google won't confirm that subscriptions will launch this week, but a spokesperson has said: "[We are] 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."

It is not clear if the 60 global channel partners like the Onion and WWE will be taking part, or if channel subscriptions will launch for other YouTube producers. If they do, bands could take advantage and offer exclusive videos and interviews to channel subscribers - but only if they're willing to lose the promotional power of free videos.

What do you think of YouTube channel subscriptions? Can you think of any channels that you'd be willing to pay for? Let us know what you think in the comments.

93 comments sorted by best / new / date

    notaconotaco
    HAHAHA!!!! That is funny! Can't wait to watch these videos on another website for free.
    fromzero
    weird, at first I read your comment as "I'm cheap, sssooo cheap. I don't feel like people should be paid for their hard work and efforts but I want to reap the fruit of their labors..." HAHAHA!!!! That is funny! McDonalds selling burgers for a dollar? Can't wait to get them from another joint for free!
    -Retro-
    Anybody who makes Youtube videos for a living makes money off of their merchandise and most importantly, Google Adsense. Nobody expects every single Youtube uploader to be paid anything.
    Molomono
    You obviously don't know how much money is already in circulation, yt partners get paid, and the get paid well.
    diablo9333
    I have a partnership, I don't get paid well. In like 2 years I only have 70 bucks in the account. You can't make a living off of Youtube unless you are a megapartner like NigaHiga, Soldierknowsbest etc. And actually most of them make their money outside of the Youtube partnership program. For example Soldierknowsbest has a contract with Revision3 where he advertises products for money. The way you make money off of Youtube/Google adsense is by having ads on the sides of videos. With the increase of people who use adblock it is harder to obtain funds from the program. It has been a little easier now with the new Youtube video ads however with the options to get out of the ad, people can still choose not to give the Youtuber money. On top of that per click it is only like $0.04. So in order to get the average weekly amount for jobs in Canada (around 800-900 in Ontario) you need people to click on ads about 20000-22500 times. With the number of people on Youtube it doesn't seem that bad, but trust me it is a lot harder than it seems.
    spyder52
    Dude no views, no money... I'm pretty sure Epic Meal Time, Smosh and stuff are pushing the dollar $$
    Roberttitus
    I just looked up your channel. You have 150 videos, with the majority of which having next to no views. Seeing as you claim to have been a partner for "like 2 years" & seeing as the majority of your most popular videos are in the realm of 3-4 years old (which would imply that those videos are what helped you get said partnership)... logic dictates that the views that you had back then were high enough to get Google's attention (which would also imply that they haven't likely garnered much since). Seeing as you have also only released 3 videos in the last year (all with less than 500 views... with one being a tribute video to Lupe Fiasco *which I don't think you can get payed for considering that it is a tribute video & not original material*), it is safe to see why you have made so little money.
    Kueller917
    Well YouTube is just a part of the whole package for these people. As you said, they do other things on the side. You can't just make a few videos a week and expect to live off YouTube easily. It is a full time job for them and they have to work hard to keep their view counts up. But also, most of these partners are aware that making their viewers pay for their videos (and not some additional feature) would be suicide for their YouTube career. Is it a website largely based on free videos.
    JAHellraiser
    If someone goes into making youtube videos with the mindstate of "I'm going to get rich off of this", well frankly, they're in the wrong business.
    Insanity ninja
    You also neglect to say that the statement from Youtube doesn't guarantee that all of that money is going to go to the channel. It's just google trying to monopolise a market. Again.
    RoboHendrix
    You sir, are a d1ck. I (and many other people I know) have YouTube channels where we post things like music and game footage and I can tell you that I have made approximately 8 American cents off of my videos... so before you lambaste everybody here for "being cheap", maybe you should develop a better understanding of the topic?
    aerosmithfan95
    You do know that people on Youtube make all of their money from the ads on their videos, right? I'm subscribed to a few people who are partners and they even say that any revenue they make is off of ads. So, why charge $2 to watch vids? Youtube started as a free venue to watch videos, so why start to change that now?
    cambo187
    I would guess it's because they are being sued by major content providers, i.e. Viacom, for copyright and TM infringement, and this may be a way to settle those cases and keep them happy. So MTV's channel, Comedy Central's channel, etc. would end up costing you $2 per month and have nice HQ versions of their programming. It's not a bad idea. If you subscribed to a couple of channels that had the shows you like, and had a Netflix account, you wouldn't need to pay the ridiculous price of cable/satellite. Not a bad thing for the consumer.
    UJDAQ
    "[We are] looking into creating a subscription platform that could bring even more great content to YouTube for our users to enjoy..." You know what I enjoy? Being able to watch videos for free!
    Vinson
    WOW guys! This is an OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL service!!! You can still learn how to play your guitar covers, and watch your Epic Fail/win videos for free.
    fromzero
    Yeah and free albums! Free Games! Free recording software! Free food! Free cars! Don't pay anyone for their work or even let them recoup investment costs! Hint: If there was no profit in tv shows / movies they wouldn't make many of them...
    BjarnedeGraaf
    Then they shouldn't have made it free in the first place. food never was free, neither were cars, games, recording software or albums. Youtube started out for free and should stay free. They just found something new to ruin except for the layout of the site.
    CJSchecter96
    I think you should change your username to "Google" I make youtube videos and im fine with not being paid.I put work into making songs and videos but I just want people to hear them. not everything has to be about money!
    lmo2th
    Pst, advertisment is a business where YOU are sold. That's why you don't tend to pay for content that contains advertisement. It's not putting something out for free, it's selling your time and attention to pay for it. The people who make the content still get payed to make it, just not by you, by the advertising companies.
    jakeb1479
    You know when websites try to be something they're not and end up getting screwed for it? This is one of those times
    Izzy-Sweet
    Guys, how about trying to read the article for once? They're talking about premium TV channels, not the general YouTube population who upload vids by webcam.
    Chaosinborn
    I don't think you guys understand. Its not pay $2 to subscribe to any channel. It looks like premium channels similar to paying for HBO or Showtime.
    L2112Lif
    That's exactly what it is, they're not going to start charging for current Youtube videos.
    sca.smith
    I think people are forgetting the fact that this is for 50 PREMIUM CHANNELS, not charging you for channels you already watch. YouTube channels aren't forced to charge their viewers to watch content, that would completely crush hundreds of people/businesses who make a living from YouTube's viewers.
    L2112Lif
    It's two dollars a channel to subscribe to premium channels on Youtube a la carte, rather than in channel packages like your cable network forces. Nothing changes besides that. ... You guys are seriously aggro over getting premium channels cheaper on Youtube than with a cable sub?
    sca.smith
    It's a single channel subscription fee, if you subscribe to many of these premium channels, it could end up costing more than a network subscription.
    fromzero
    For years I always wished that I could simply pay for the cable channels I actually wanted. If my average bill is $50/mo and channels were $5 each I would still save money. Other than standard network channels there aren't many cable only channels that I need / want. Seriously, if you could opt out of channels that you pay for on cable and not pay for them that would be awesome. Seriously, I have no use for BET, Home Shopping, Lifetime - Television for women, MTV (they need to rename it to RTV because it's lacking music but has an abundance of reality shows), etc.
    gh0ul666
    there has never been something like a quality tv channel and there never can be
    Braykah
    Well, that's simple, isn't it? If you don't want to pay up, don't subscribe. You can still watch the videos free of charge.
    Smudgee
    Another way for Google to monopolise the internet.
    RadioTape
    Without google you wouldn't have found a lot of things on the internet you probably enjoy. The idea of google searching something and finding a million articles is phenomenal and I doubt you would have even found this site. Remember that google was like any other small business originally and started on a linux computer in a garage.
    spiff-corgi
    Why do people not understand this? They're setting up premium channels for content like films and tv shows, much like services like Netflix that already exist. They're not turning regular youtube channels into pay-per-view. It's a perfectly reasonable business move. You don't have to watch the non-free channels. Nothing will change for you.
    bustapr
    lol, so many people misreading(or not reading at all) the article. please read the article well before typing in another "youtube is ruined" comment...
    kcmoon5150
    They're not talking about user channels.. They are talking about premium television channels being broadcast from the website
    Cazman
    You people need to learn how to read and comprehend (and not just read the shitty as usual UG headline and go typing away).
    TunerAddict
    The American education system must be really awful if the vast majority here cannot read and comprehend what is being said in a couple of paragraphs.
    Torico
    Take away ad revenue from Youtube and see how many actually continue to make vids for the love of it. Youtube is full of nothing but sellouts.
    Brad_Bassist
    Remove getting paid for ANYTHING, and see how many people still do it "for the love of it". If bands didn't get paid for not only albums, but tours, merchandise, etc, I can bet you none of your favorite bands would still do it. Sure, they like playing music, but they have a family to feed, and bills to pay. Just like everyone. Why can't you understand this? It has nothing to do with being a "sellout" it has everything to do with surviving. You're an idiot.
    PIMO
    Wont work. too many people will complain and in a few years we'll look back on this and laugh
    kiba56
    We could still watch them for free. We just can't subscribe to more tan 50 channels unless we'd pay th 2 bucks....but still its stupid as heck.
    Eifler121
    Haha, of all the premium channels they could pick, one of the two they go for is the WWE?
    Eifler121
    I've never, ever subscribed to a YouTube channel, so I won't now. I can see it working out for people who do the online series' though, like the Mortal Kombat "series" they did a little while ago. You think you'll still be able to watch one video at a time by a channel like Funny or Die?
    Wppa
    They're obviously not going to do it. It doesn't take a genius to see that everyone would just go to another site which offered free videos in place of YouTube if they introduced this subscription fee. And I'm certain that the people working at YouTube already know this as well.
    cmvideo
    After this it will be a package... subscribe to 10 channels for $15. Then eventually asfter this takes off, they'll offer a package to subscribe to everything for a 1-tome fee of $199/year. I can't believe all you wise UG commentators don't see this coming from a mile away.
    Vinson
    What? And lose ALL the revenue they get for the commercials on YouTube?!?!?! THINK MAN!!!
    soulgrenade
    I think Google is counting on the fact that not everyone downloads stuff for free and that some people WILL pay this fee. They don't need everyone's money, just enough to make a profit or cover expenses.
    HavokStrife
    I guess I'm just gunna unsubscribe my subscriptions.. or just watch the videos not signed in? Either way, dumbass shit. I mean, people who make money off youtube, say, on youtube, they make the money through the ads.. And youtube is owned by the titan Google... so I dunno really WTF the point of charging for something as pointless as that, when everyone's making money. But hey, wtf do I know anymore..
    Wolfinator-x
    If I were a highly-subscribed channel I'd refuse to let Google profit off my videos in this manner specifically. I'm absolutely fine with having ads on my videos (which I currently do on some of my own) and selling my own merchandise if need be, but this is just ridiculous.
    SarwTheGreat
    well, without youtube and google, you wouldn't have any videos, or subscribtions. You'd have no outlet or way of getting anything up, at least a site anyone goes to. So dont be stupid, they don't owe you, you owe them. Grow up a little bit, and again, stop being so ignorant. Without google and youtube, you wouldn't even have anything to bitch about. So if they want to make money off something they're enabling you to do, they can do whatever they please. They don't have to let you have a channel at all.
    kratos379
    I'd imagine that these channel subscriptions will be all brand new content that would not have released on youtube otherwise. It's just another source of entertainment that isn't interfering with anything you already have. Your current subscriptions won't become something you have to pay for.
    Kueller917
    You have to realize that most of this paid content would probably be very exclusive stuff for a few people. It's not like channels would suddenly start charging you for everything because as the comments here show, that would only make your view count plummet.
    guitarist5477
    Not surprised, this pisses me off though, I have a channel where I upload video covers and originals and this would just be such an annoyance. I only do it as a fun project for music, now I have to worry bout this. bs
    Vinson
    Regular channels stay the same the new PREMIUM channels will cost UP TO but not necessarily $2 Imagine it as EVERYTHING you see now is the same, but they add the "Netflix" channel for $2 and you watch a full length movie on it.
    Sammy Mantis
    It may just be a charge for "premium channels" for now, but this type of thing is a slippery slope. This is just the beginning, it won't be long before you will have to pay at least some sort of membership fee to use Youtube. I'm surprised they aren't charging a fee already, since most people would almost certainly pay for it.
    SarwTheGreat
    Like Bustapr said, learn how to read UG. Some of the ****ing dumbest and ignorant people are on this site and these comments on every article, are sad. Stop being stupid please
    MikeBTE
    Should I spend a dollar on this channel? I think I'd be happier with the dollar.
    cmvideo
    Thank you Sammy! I was just going to post this. Starting with $2 for premium channels is just a way to get the user to get used to paying for a FREE service. If you guys don't think the pay model of YouTube will expand over time as they implement this you are sooooo naive.
    PanamaJack666
    I might just subscribe to every major channel on You Tube now and sell my account for $4 down the line.
    link no1
    Is this for all youtube channels or just crap like the WWE channel? The only things I am subscribed to that I really watch regularly are Rooster Teeth/Achievement Hunter and a few awesome guitarists. I wouldn't really care if I still don't have to pay for that though.
    i_am_metalhead
    What people are missing is they are creating "premium channels" that you will have to pay to subscribe to. All of the regular channels will still be free. They are basically trying to create a "netflix" or "hulu" type thing.
    CoolMcAwesome
    I think some people have a misconception about this: youtube is still free. only certain channels will be pay ones. sort of like how you can currently pay to watch a movie on youtube. I seriously think some people need to learn how to think, and as importantly, ****ign READ!