Google launches YouTube subscriptions

You Tube Paid Channels Blog Post by Honey Digital Social Media and Digital Agency Surrey, Devon, CornwallIn a move that looks to take on the paid for TV industry, Google recently announced the roll out of paid subscriptions for certain YouTube channels. But will this move pay off for channel partners, or will it lead to users switching off?

To begin with the announcement showcases a handful of channel partners in what would appear as a soft, trial launch. Channels listed include Jim Henson Family TV and Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Prices start as low as $0.99 per month and are paid via Google Wallet. Users get a 14-day free trial to channels, which are also discounted if you subscribe by the year. Once signed up for a paid channel, you can watch as much video as you like.

The initial roll out looks minimal with only a handful of channels. There were no major broadcast channels announced in the initial line up which, at this stage, doesn’t show YouTube to be taking on Netflix or Amazon (or even Sky or Virgin Media in the UK). At least not right now.

But watch this space, as this move to a paid for model puts YouTube in a position to some day take on the Netflixes of the world. Sesame Street isn’t exactly Game of Thrones (imagine that!), but watch this space as this move into a paid for model puts YouTube in a position to some day take on the Netflixes of the world.

Make no mistake, this is a shrewd business move for Google and one that bolsters YouTube’s money making capability beyond advertising. YouTube is now a ‘serious’ platform capable of offering studios, producers, vloggers and more another income source. YouTube already has ad-supported content, live pay per view programming, rentals, and purchases, but subscriptions gives the full package.

With channel subscriptions starting under a dollar it seems an inexpensive way for consumers to dip into channels without too much risk. For content creators, it’s another income stream in another creative industry still trying to find its monetising way in an online world.