YouTube launches paid channels

YouTube on Thursday unveiled its first paid subscription channels as the Google-owned video service made a long-anticipated move to challenge streaming services like Netflix.
The move puts Google into direct competition with services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, which have been luring viewers away from cable and broadcast TV.
“Starting today, we’re launching a pilot program for a small group of partners that will offer paid channels on YouTube with subscription fees starting at $0.99 per month,” a YouTube blog statement said.
The statement said this is part of an effort begun in 2007 “that enables content creators to earn revenue for their creativity”.
YouTube released a list of some 50 channels which will be part of the program starting Thursday. Subscription rates go as high as $7.99 per month.
“Every channel has a 14-day free trial, and many offer discounted yearly rates,” a YouTube blog post said.
“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.”
Subscribers will be able to access the channels from a computer, phone, tablet or TV, “and soon you’ll be able to subscribe to them from more devices,” the statement said. Google bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion. — AFP

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