“It’s a good time to start experimenting,” Jamie Byrne, the director of content strategy for YouTube, said at a television conference Monday.
The website that already has more than 800 million visitors each month is hoping to drive more advertising money into the company and bring television lovers to YouTube.
YouTube will work with producers that already have popular channels to charge a small fee. These subscriptions will cost anywhere from $1 to $5 per month. Approximately 25 channels will be involved in the launch.
“We have long maintained that different content requires different types of payment models,” a Google spokesman said, in a statement and reported by Jason Del Ray in an article at Ad Age. “The important thing is that, regardless of the model, our creators succeed on the platform. There are a lot of our content creators that think they would benefit from subscriptions, so we’re looking at that.”
The specific channels that will be part of this new adventure have yet to be named, but they will be professional channels that make content specifically for YouTube. Depending on the success of this project, YouTube may take it one step further and begin charging for “content libraries and access to live events, a la pay-per-view, as well as self-help or financial advice shows.”
Byrne said they could either charge per channel or go the television route and charge one package price for several channels.
“These channels, we think of them as the next wave of potential networks,” Byrne said. “We think it’s going great.”
The YouTube channels are set to launch as early as the company’s second quarter.