Last night YouTube announced what many of us expected to happen; it will be introducing a subscriptions for certain premium channels in an attempt to rival the likes of LoveFilm and Netflix.
YouTube will start off the subscription program with a pilot system which will feature a small group of partners that can offer subscriptions for their content, with pricing starting at $0.99 per month.
Starting yesterday, YouTube launched the pilot program for a small group of partners that will offer paid channels on YouTube with subscription fees. Every paid-for channel has a 14-day free trial and many are to offer discounted yearly rates for customers.
A list of 53 pilot channels has been announced by YouTube, with big names such as TNA Wrestling, Jim Henson Family TV and UFC Select all being a part of the trial, which means that customers who subscribe will be able to have access to exclusive content.
Subscribers to the Jim Henson Family TV channel will get access to full episodes of Sesame Street on their paid channel when it launches, whereas UFC Fans will get access to classic full versions of fights. On the TNA Wrestling channel subscribers will get access to the majority of Pay-Per-View and DVD archives, with additional titles and premium content being offered on a weekly basis.
Channels will range in prices with the TNA Channel costing $4.99 a month and UFC coming in at $3.99 so there will be variations of the charges depending on who you subscribe to.
Once subscribed, users will then be able to access the content on all formats including desktop/laptop, phone, tablet and TV as long as the user is logged in via their subscription account.
YouTube is keen to drum up some attention to its new changes; “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.”
Google and YouTube will be opening up the partner program in the coming months which will see other channels go paid, but with the nature of the internet being fickle will YouTube sour their users with the new premium changes?
You can look here for a full list of pilot channels.
Source: YouTube Blog