Get Ready to Pay 99 Cents to Watch YouTube

To subscribe to channels at least

  • Share
  • Read Later

Correction Appended Oct. 23, 2013

YouTube is increasing its efforts to generate more revenue with its most popular videos producers. Thousands of YouTube creators will now be able to launch paid channels, which charge a monthly subscription fee of $0.99 or more.

The paid channel initiative began in May as a pilot program with a few dozen accounts, including popular brands like Sesame Street and the Professional Golf Association. Now any video creator who has 10,000 subscribers and has been verified by YouTube will be able to set up a new paid channel and charge a fee for access to their content. Creators can set their own subscription rates, though YouTube has final authority to determine pricing. Every paid channel will offer an initial 14-day free trial.

(MORE: Most Successful Tech Company on Earth Still Kinda Bummed No-Name Bloggers Didn’t Love the Original iPad)

A YouTube spokesman confirmed that the revenue split between YouTube and creators for subscription channels is similar to the model used for advertising revenue, with creators keeping the majority of the money. YouTube does not disclose the exact percentage of this advertising split, but it has been widely reported to be 55 percent for creators and 45 percent for YouTube.

The Google-owned video platform has invested heavily to improve the quality of its content as it tries to lure advertisers away from television. The company has spent at least $300 million in the production and marketing of a slate of 100 original channels in the last two years. YouTube also has production studios for creators to use in Los Angeles,  London and Tokyo. A fourth will open in New York in 2014.

YouTube declined to disclose the number of subscribers for any of the existing paid channels, but over the summer some channel operators said user response had been tepid, according to Variety. A YouTube spokesman said these are still very early days for the initiative.

The original version of this story said YouTube creators with 10,000 subscribers could “convert” their channels to paid channels. In fact, these users must create new channels to charge a subscription. 

147 comments
WienersPeener
WienersPeener

The best youtube content will still be free. All of the paid channels are ones I would never watch anyway.


Eventually Google will destroy the site altogether.

coalminds
coalminds

I love when people act like Youtube, which loses money consistently, is going to be worse off without their completely unpaid browsing which also involves skipping ads. They aren't going to miss you and millions of people will still use the site.  Get over yourselves you're on a business site.

comingboy248
comingboy248

This might be the end of an era for YouTube, if this happens. It will take two seconds or less for a programmer to re-create a new "you-tube" without user fees, and by making them free that programer will forgo any legal actions...


Shipoopi2
Shipoopi2

YouTube was great. Google has destroyed it by turning it into something that people DO NOT WANT. YouTube was supposed to be a place where people can upload videos they make, songs they like, clips from shows and movies they like, and people can watch them for free. Once Google bought them out (promising to make it better and "not change it") they have incrementally destroyed it. I have a YouTube series and it's something I do for fun. I will NEVER charge my viewers, and anyone who does is part of the problem. Google - shame on you you money grubbing thieves! Get your hands off of YouTube!

AndrewBanks
AndrewBanks

Because they just can't not keep f--king up YouTube.

Spiffsin
Spiffsin

Seriously? they think people will pay? I'm about sick of them with their commercials before every video and pop up in the middle of the video. Ridiculous. I'm watching less and less now because of the commercial. so hey good look with that. 


nakidman
nakidman

I would NEVER even try to charge my Subscribers!?! WTF? I'm just glad People watch my videos for FREE!!! Google has destroyed everything! :( 

redbaron666
redbaron666

Google is a multi-billion dollar company, and yet they need to generate more revenue? It's just like the oil companies, they are just greedy. God forbid that their CEO doesn't get his $5,000,000 bonus this year. WTF, give me a break people. 

DougCheriBledsoe
DougCheriBledsoe

when obamacare reduces my insurance then I will pay Googletube.


DannyBashuk
DannyBashuk

I don,t understand what you get for 99

josiahtyler2
josiahtyler2

There's plenty of good alternatives ( video bash , dailymotion , blip.tv , metacafe ) 

But people are too lazy to find alternatives. 

Denesius
Denesius

Come to think of it, I can't recall the last time I was willing to sit thru one of their mandatory 30-second ads before the video

Denesius
Denesius

In 3 years of being a youtube subscriber, I've yet to come across a video I'd consider worth 99-cents of my hard earned money...

melvinkitty
melvinkitty

There are channels I'd pay for, gladly.

Nissl
Nissl

There's nothing on Youtube that I'd pay for. But I'll just drop any channel that tries to charge me. Not sure why there's so many mad comments.

If this causes YT to gradually also become an a la carte replacement for cable, that'd be cool.

SmoothEdward1
SmoothEdward1

YouTube will just become another paid cable channel before you know it. A noble experiment that couldn't last.

Drooski
Drooski

There is already a service that is testing the waters on this kind of thing, outside of Youtube. It is called Subbable, and it has seen significant success. A handful of channels have had their costs covered completely by people willing to donate/pay their own monthly rate (Not one set by the channel owner). This lets the channel owners remove the advertising from the videos.

Its a win win.

suewallick74
suewallick74

What's so funny about this is they think we need them.  NOT!!!!

toothpick82
toothpick82

I will never ever pay a cent to watch a youtube video. Goodbye Youtube.

MarcusTheGrand
MarcusTheGrand

I'm not gonna pay... but wow... that means that someone with 10,000 subs could make $5,500 a month. Who needs a job?

BKdoc
BKdoc

YouTube died the first time they made people wait through a 30 second add before watching a 60 second video. 

barkus851
barkus851

Goodbye YouTube.  It's always fascinating to watch a company destroy itself in the name of greed.

CodeBlitz
CodeBlitz

Commercial free paid channels??? I would pay a fee to see good content that is commercial free, but if they think I would pay a fee to see content with advertising commercials, they are WRONG. This is the same failure that Hulu had just last year. Look at Netflix and Pandora, which I pay to religiously. They offer content with no commercials and I happily pay for it. If you charge a fee, then it must be commercial FREE. You already have commercials now, so offering a commercial free options is exactly what would work and should result in increased revenue.

JohnKovacich
JohnKovacich

@Spiffsin get adblocker I cant believe everyone doesnt have this extension.I havent seen a commercial on youtube in a good 2 years.

PeterThompson
PeterThompson

@nakidman It's not like they're making you charge your viewers. You can keep your channel free.

youbetyoursweetasta!
youbetyoursweetasta!

Take your political hate to another site. No one eants to see your off topic dribble!

Sacco1
Sacco1

@josiahtyler2 Thank you, my not lazy friend. I am done with Google and their money-grubbing ways.

Heisencat
Heisencat

@josiahtyler2 I just already have the bookmark... ehhhh... now I'll have to make another book mark.


goldengrain
goldengrain

@Drooski Ha.  Watch - commercials will gradually migrate back, so you will be paying to watch the commercials - like Sirius did. 

onehundredjobs
onehundredjobs

@Drooski This isn't at all like what YouTube is offering. Subbable seems more like Kickstarter or Indigogo and is inaccessible and excessively complicated for the average creator seeking a pay-per-view solution.

joree
joree

@toothpick82 Don’t let the door hit your a-- .Of course you’ll be back though. Besides, no one is forcing  paid subscription unless the content providers wants to.

onehundredjobs
onehundredjobs

@MarcusTheGrand That's how it should be. You'd be shocked at how much work goes into releasing an edited 3 minute video every week. Creators on YouTube are currently horribly underpaid.

joree
joree

@barkus851 Greed is wanting content and not pay a dime. No one is forcing them to join a paid subscription.

seraslovely
seraslovely

@JohnKovacich  Google is trying to work a deal with adblocker plus so they will not block their ads on Google brand sites. So far the creator of adblocker plus has said he isn't willing to give leeway to those who use inapproiate and annoying ads ( like showing a 1:30 ad for a 2:00 video ).

But everyone has their price and Google has a lot of money.

seraslovely
seraslovely

@onehundredjobs @MarcusTheGrand It doesn't take that long to edit a video. Sometimes it takes longer to set up the recording and depending on what you're doing, create the entire video.

But if you know what you're looking for, it doesn't take long to edit at all. Probably the hardest thing is to sync the video with commentary and even that's easy to professionals.

Aeropage135
Aeropage135

@joree @barkus851 Ah, how far the Internet is fallen.  Used to be that "I won't pay a dime" would be met with only a puzzled "I don't want you to pay a dime".  And, indeed, the content was 1000 times better.  If you have something worthwhile to share, it's intrinsically worthwhile to share it.  That's the "socialism" that built the Internet.

season818
season818

@joree  Okay, Google (YouTube). We know it's you; Show your face.

ChunkBasker
ChunkBasker

@wwwwtb @CodeBlitz  Youtube isn't cable.  Paying for somethin that will take forever to add new content is a nogo for me.  Sure theres good stuff on youtube time to time, but they're banking off of other peoples hard work.  They get revenue from adding commercials thats ok, but they shouldn't get anymore then that.

404error
404error

@Aeropage135  The internet is being privatized, because other sectors of the economy are not bringing in the dough like they used , too. Besides, the big trend is to make a lot of money off fewer users in the business world. Everything is now a niche that must be marketed to "upscale" consumers. Socially, in our consumer society, if someone doesn't consume at least some"upscale" products, they are seen as less civilized.