YouTube to launch paid channels in the spring
January 30, 2013 11.48 Europe/London By Julian Clover

YouTube is reportedly planning the introduction of paid subscriptions for individual channels.

Quoting multiple people familiar with the plans, Ad Age said the Google-owned video portal has approached a small group of channel producers and asked them to submit plans for channels that would require payment in order for viewers to access them. The cost is likely to be between $1 and $5 per month with YouTube considering a charge for programme libraries, live events and self-help shows.

One of the sources quoted by Ad Age said the channels could be introduced to the public at the Digital Content New Fronts in late April, where digital-media companies such as YouTube, AOL and Yahoo host advertisers for presentations announcing new online-video series.

YouTube’s plans may make cable and IPTV operators that have integrated the portal’s free content into their set-top boxes think twice about maintaining the window on what could be a potential rival.

In recent years broadcasters have flocked to YouTube as a means to carry short and long form content. BBC Worldwide and Channel 4 both have significant contracts.