YouTube launches pilot program for paid subscriptions, channels start at $0.99 per month

We've had a pretty clear indication that it was coming, and YouTube has now gotten official with one of the biggest changes to the way it does business to date. It's today kicking off a pilot program for paid subscriptions, which initially consists of a small group of partners offering channels that start at $0.99 per month. Those will include channels ranging from Sesame Street to the UFC (just over 50 in all at the moment), each of which include a 14-day free trial, and some of which come at a discounted rate if you pay by the year instead of per-month.

YouTube's promising to roll things out more broadly in the coming weeks, with qualifying partners able to take advantage of the option as a self-service feature and others invited to sign up if they're interested in going the paid route. Naturally, you'll be able to view channels on the usual range of devices once you subscribe, but you will have to do the actual subscribing on a computer for now (subscribing on others devices is promised to be coming soon). The company's also quick to point out that it's still early days for the service, noting that it'll have more to say as it gets feedback from users and content partners.

Source: Engadget

Will Viewers Pay Subscriptions to Watch YouTubers?

Rumours have it that later this year, YouTube will start charging for paid subscriptions. Sources say that YouTube is already meeting with some big channels to gather ideas, such as Machinima and Fullscreen. If all of the rumours are valid, then YouTube will probably launch their new product sometime during Spring or Summer 2013.

YouTube would initially probably only launch twenty five paid channels. A Google spokesperson said

"We have long maintained that different content requires different types of payment models. The important thing is that, regardless of the model, our creators succeed on the platform. There are a lot of our content creators that think they would benefit from subscriptions, so we are looking at that.”

How much will it cost to pay for a subscription? Just like all rumors, we can't confirm anything. However, the general hypothesis is that each channel would cost $1.00 - $5.00 for you to watch. If you convert that into GBP, we're looking at something around £0.60 - £3.50 per paid subscription.

If YouTube does introduce paid subscriptions, I would like to see some additional features such as the ability to download for offline viewing.

Will you pay to watch YouTuber videos? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.