There are over one million channels generating revenue on YouTube and these producers have been asking Google for more flexible ways to monetize and distribute their content. This is why YouTube has decided to roll out paid subscriptions for certain video channels. The subscription rates will range from $0.99 to around $7.99 per month. Early participants in this program will include Sesame Workshop (Sesame Street), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), and the Young Turks (talk show). Currently there are over 50 paid channel partners.
Every channel will have a 14-day free trial and many of them will offer discounted yearly rates. Once you subscribe, you will be able to watch these channels on your computer, phone, tablet, and TV.
“This is just the beginning. We?ll be rolling paid channels out more broadly in the coming weeks as a self-service feature for qualifying partners. And as new channels appear, we’ll be making sure you can discover them, just as we’ve been helping you find and subscribe to all the channels you love across YouTube,” wrote YouTube on their blog. “Just as the partner program empowered creators to take their channels to the next level, we look forward to seeing how this great community of creators moves ahead with a new way to reach the fan communities that made their channels a hit.”
Viewers will be able to pay with Google Wallet, the same service that is used on Google Play. In terms of revenue split, YouTube did indicate that subscriber revenue split will be similar to the ad-support business. Currently Google keep 45% of revenues from the ads that they sell and producers are given the rest.