Channels will start at a 99 cent monthly subscription and have a 14-day trial period
YouTube made a big announcement today: paid subscriptions for certain channels. It had been rumored for some time that YouTube was readying some sort of paid model and today that becomes reality. This is the beginning of a pilot program that will likely see many more premium channels in the future.
So how does it work and how much is it? There are a select few YouTube Paid Channels launching today with that are partnering with YouTube to provide richer content starting at $0.99/month. Some channels offer discounts if you subscribe annually. All channels also offer a 14-day free trial and they insist that you use it to see how you like it. Once you subscribe, you can watch on your computer, mobile device and television.
For example, I am a huge fan of Big Think, which is a channel that brings together thinkers from around the world and produces short videos dedicated to specific ideas. They are launching a premium channel called Big Think Mentor (seen above), which will provide more videos and longer content. By making it paid, this allows them to gauge their audience and produce content that is demanded.
YouTube is a great platform and has always provided countless free videos with the support of ads. That model is still the same and will not change. However, I think YouTube wants to be able to offer its users the chance to access higher quality content aimed at a certain audience that is willing to shell out a little money. Let's be honest, 99 cents is not that much and if the creators use the platform and money strategically, I feel that it could be a success.