YouTube may introduce premium subscription model in the spring

YouTube may introduce premium subscription model in the spring
Google has been slowly trying to branch out and find revenue streams that are separate from its core advertising business, but it has been a struggle. In Google's Q4 2012 earnings call, 96% of the company's quarterly revenue was from advertising. Now, it sounds like Google is going to try a bit harder to monetize YouTube by possibly introducing a premium subscription model this spring.

The rumor comes from AdAge and says that Google has reached out to YouTube channel creators with the proposition of implementing a paid subscription model. The subscriptions would be between $1 and $5 per month. In addition to the subscription service, Google is also considering charging access to live events and libraries of content on YouTube. 

As with all things Google, the paid subscriptions would start out as an experimental beta with only about 25 channels offering paid subscriptions. A Google spokesperson did comment, saying: 

source: AdAge via The Verge

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30 Comments

1. shynepo

Posts: 39; Member since: May 21, 2010

If this is true, then YouTube can kiss my @$$!

2. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

I agree. They should make another branch off of Youtube maybe. Like a brother website. Not Youtube though. I will ditch youtube if I start getting money pop ups everytime I try to watch videos. I already get forced ads that are longer and more annoying every year.

8. bizwhizzy

Posts: 51; Member since: Aug 04, 2011

Oh boo hoo! I get access to millions of hours of video, but I don't want to help Google actually make money to cover the costs of running YouTube by watching an ad here or there), and I sure as hell don't want to REWARD THE CONTENT CREATORS FOR THEIR WORK (with a paid subscription). I want EVERYTHING FREE! I DESERVE everything to be free! You guys should be ashamed.

9. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

A bit over the top, but I do agree that content creators should get compensated for their work. YouTube channel creators should get the choice to monetize as they see fit. Maybe some don't want to put ads on, and would rather have subscription fees. As Google said, content creators have asked for it, so Google is looking into it.

14. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

Hey Michael. Do you get paid? Does PA get paid? Do you guys charge an access fee? You make it seem like if they dont make money off of their work. Car dealerships reviewing cars get more customers, etc... Its a media site based on sharing.

17. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Yes, but ad support isn't the only valid way to do things, and given the DNA of Google and YouTube, I'm simply not jumping to the conclusion that a subscription automatically means a paywall, and an end to sharing.

11. wando77

Posts: 1168; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

Pretty much how I was gonna put it

12. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

If I get annoying pop ups for money thats good enough. Pop ups and blocks for paid service? Wth? So double dipping or what? Lay off and respect my opinion. Youtube has been succesful on advertising and making profit. I wont be paying to watch a Moto GP channel or Vivo. From the article... "each subscription from $1-$5 a month" That is per subscription! I will find it super annoying and frustrating to come across blocked videos over and over again with $1-$5 subscription to subscribe to that user. That is if this catches on and everyone starts switching to this "Subscription fee"

13. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

YouTube as a whole has only just started turning a profit, but that doesn't say how many content creators are turning profits. BTW, if you subscribe to cable TV, you pay for the service, and you get served ads. When you go to a movie, you pay to get in the theater, and most movies have some sort of product placement (aka ads). Double-dipping is the way visual media works.

15. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

Of course Youtube was created for profit, but its been based on sharing and making money on advertisements. If they want a paid subscriber customer base, they should make a brother website based on subscription fees and channels. Like Hulu for example.

16. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

I understand that it's always annoying when something that was previously free (or ad supported) changes that system, but I just thunk that subscriptions are a good way to make sure creators get paid and not just the distributor (Google). Besides, we don't know how this would work. It could be that a paid subscription just removes ads, and there would still be the ad-supported option. Or, it could be that the subscription will just be for bonus or extended content. It just seems a bit early to judge the move, since there are so many unknowns.

18. mikel45365

Posts: 10; Member since: Feb 07, 2009

if everyone starts switching I guess you'll just have to pay the measly $5 or put up with it...

19. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

A few will switch to it, but there is no chance that everyone will. That's simply not going to happen. Look at news websites. Some put up paywalls, and there are still tons that simply rely on ads. The same will happen with YouTube.

26. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

Measly $5 per subscription...

29. bon24x7

Posts: 211; Member since: Aug 30, 2012

Well it was free until Google bought them...So NO..!!

3. blingblingthing

Posts: 974; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

Playstation Network is still free on a basic Level while they do offer a premium subscription service. No need to guess only premium subscribers can watch videos from now on.

4. nb2six

Posts: 298; Member since: Apr 27, 2011

I see this as either a really bad or really good idea, especially in the essence of live events. It could be another step towards actual WebTV. It's probably a pipe dream but I would definitely pay a premium to get live sports streamed through youtube.

5. nak1017

Posts: 328; Member since: Jan 08, 2010

I'd pay $2/mo to avoid those annoying ads at the beginning of a video, or more if they'd put TV shows or something like that on there (a la Hulu), but changing core features of YouTube itself can only hurt...

6. Fallout09

Posts: 421; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

I might be game for $1 if it gets rid of those stupid "Your video will start momentarily" and all those annoying ad that pop up when watching videos and all those 15000 embedded link windows layered on top of the playing video.

7. sats.mine2k4

Posts: 208; Member since: Aug 10, 2012

If youtube can host tv channels at a premium (knowing Google they would charge less than half of what comcast and Verizon do...)...am in...

10. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Cable providers would never let networks do it, but I'm sure that's Google's dream for Google TV.

27. nak1017

Posts: 328; Member since: Jan 08, 2010

Networks might not have a choice in the next few years. Cable providers are becoming less and less relevant, and internet based content is becoming better and better. Wasn't too long ago broadcast networks were the only ones with original content...

20. pongkie

Posts: 663; Member since: Aug 20, 2011

I have like 200 subscriptions on my youtube account. if each of them enabled a dollar fee then I would pay $200 bucks a month? That would be worst than hulu

21. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Not that there's much chance that all 200 would institute a subscription fee, but I'd assume that Google would also have some sort of all-you-can-eat plan for users like you.

23. pongkie

Posts: 663; Member since: Aug 20, 2011

I hope so if not I would be forced not use youtube at all. Other pre-youtube-pay/view copycat sites will pop up if this happens. At least they should have started charging by 1 - 5 cents for ordinary youtube channels not 1 - 5 bucks that is just too greedy. look how the mmorpg are now they are forced to use the f2p model or say goodbye to their fanbase.

22. papss unregistered

I never am on YouTube these days but understand that google not only wants to sell my personal info but also wants to charge? Right... I guess we will see what the actual real structuring is when they announce details

24. samsungcaptivateglide777

Posts: 13; Member since: Jul 22, 2012

Don't worry google will lose revenue from the millions of people who'll stop watching YouTube, they'll pull it with in the first month...

25. Cha7520

Posts: 222; Member since: Oct 31, 2010

LOL...this isn't going anywhere!

28. scriptwriter

Posts: 396; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

i would pay for youtube but only if youtube would release an update enabling us to multitask with the youtube app. in other words, let us play the audio of the video in the background whilst doing something else.

30. pliskin1

Posts: 59; Member since: Oct 17, 2012

How about, pay youtube a subscription, and then be ad-free?

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