YouTube is set to launch a paid subscription model for its specialist video channels as early as this week, according to a report.
The move, which has been in development for months, aims to help channels finance a wider range of content such as television shows and films, and will serve as another source of revenue, according to the Financial Times.
The service will include up to 50 YouTube channels, and subscriptions to each channel will start as low a $1.99 per month, the newspaper reported Sunday, citing anonymous sources.
In response to the report, a YouTube spokesperson told Mashable, “We have nothing to announce at this time, but we’re looking into creating a subscription platform that could bring even more great content to YouTube for our users to enjoy and provide our creators with another vehicle to generate revenue from their content, beyond the rental and ad-supported models we offer.”
Rumors that YouTube will monetize its premium content have circulated for some time. In January, AdAge reported that the site asked a small group of channels to apply to be among those paid.
At the time, a YouTube representative told Mashable, “We have long maintained that different content requires different types of payment models … 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.”
Other signs suggest that YouTube is likely working on à la carte and pay-per-view options for its video channels. Code found in a February app update mentioned subscribing and unsubscribing from paid YouTube channels.
By Anita Li