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Google moves to introduce paid YouTube subscriptions

Published: Friday, February 1, 2013

Updated: Friday, February 1, 2013 22:02

Users could see the end of free online video as Google looks to introduces paid subscriptions on YouTube.

One blogger detailed some of the plans, saying the site would charge users a monthly fee from $1 to $5.

"The site has reached out to a select few channel producers and invited them to submit applications to create paid content channels. The first to develop these channels will probably be media companies that have already gained decent sized followings on YouTube.  The new offering will give them a way to monetize their content, other than (or in addition to) ads."

From what I can tell Google (who owns YouTube) is looking to make more money from the site rather than just relying on advertising. While it would be a great way to reach consumers with specific channels, there are more costly risks.

Although it is not clear which channels will be part of the first paid subscriptions, the idea of having to pay for YouTube will be hard for users to handle after years of endless free video at their disposal.

I think it’s safe to say that users will most likely not want to pay for video that was free before. With the new subscriptions, I see a shift of online video to follow the format of TV.

The joy of watching video on the Internet is that you don’t have to worry about paying for it, and you can watch what you want versus having to flip through channels of set programming. Now, users will have to deal with the same issues they have with TV and their favorite channels could be at risk of switching to be a paid service. The prices are low now but as demand increases, prices will go up only to mimic what is already annoying about TV.

What do you think? Will YouTube lose users if it offers paid subscriptions? Is free online video a thing of the past?

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