YouTube considers pay model

YouTube is talking with TV networks and studios to develop a pay model for streaming TV episodes, according to the MediaMemo blog of the Wall Street Journal.

The TV shows would cost $1.99 (€1.32) each and become available for commercial-free streaming on the morning after their first network broadcast. The model would only give access to a streaming video, not a download.

Apple’s iTunes Store and other retailers including Amazon already sell TV episode downloads for $1.99 each. Apple is also considering a subscription model for watching TV series. Hulu, jointly owned by Fox, NBC Universal and ABC, offers free access to recent episodes of TV series.

You Tube’s big advantage would be that it already attracts by far the largest online video audience, outperforming all other video sites.