YouTube Launches Paid-for Content Trial

A selection of YouTubes content makers have been chosen to trial paid-for subscriptions for their channels as part of a pilot scheme.

Subsciptions for the 53 niche channels, which includes National Geographic for Kids, will start at $0.99 (£0.64) per month with a free two week trial. Users will be able to pay using a credit card or through Google Wallet.

Stuart Fuller, director of commercial operations and communications at online brand protection specialists NetNames, said this is a move to fight off rivals, ensure brands can properly monetise and prevent piracy.

“The growing popularity of on-demand video channels such as those offered by Netflix, Hulu and LoveFilm has led to many users abandoning YouTube in favour of more streamlined and up-to-date services which offer a better range of films, TV series and one-off shows,” he said. “Google will intend to better control content that is uploaded on to YouTube through such pay models, and hence avoiding painful and costly task of taking down pirated content online.

“Consumers will need to start getting used to this type of online models, as  big social brands and platforms cannot simply make money from selling advertising alone. Subscription models are only set to become more and more common in future.”

According to YouTube, 25 per cent of global YouTube views come from mobile devices and 1bn views a day on YouTube mobile. We have reached out to YouTube to find out how subscriptions will work on mobile.