YouTube attracts over a billion users each month. Now that the Internet phenomenon has started asking people to pay to watch certain content, can a YouTube Premium channel be popular? After all, Internet users everywhere have grown accustomed to YouTube being as free as the air they breathe.
What’s the Deal?
The world’s largest video-streaming platform has launched a paid subscription plan in which users can only watch certain content if they subscribe to a YouTube premium channel. It’s a bold move, but one which parent company Google believes will offer YouTube a valid revenue source outside of advertising.
Initially, YouTube will offer 53 premium channels, with content ranging from movies, sports, documentaries, kids’ shows, and more specified and niche areas of interest. Each YouTube premium channel will be different, and subscription fees range from 99 cents to $7 per month.
What Will Change?
Being free and conveniently accessible was the reason YouTube became a household name in the first place. Yet while its open style and lack of restrictions has fostered genuine talent, it has also led to a lot of poor-quality content being uploaded every second of every day.
Many among the more professional creators of YouTube content have long voiced their dissatisfaction with the current advertising model and will be eager to begin using a YouTube premium channel as a new way to turn a profit. Rest assured, you will still be able to watch random videos of dancing cats for free. YouTube will continue to not charge for this service.
Much of YouTube’s content, in fact, will remain free of charge. A YouTube premium channel is just another step in the company’s goal to improve the overall quality of uploaded content and reward its most professional contributors.
Who Will Benefit?
YouTube has long maintained that it wants to compensate its independent content producers adequately for their efforts. By launching a YouTube premium channel, the company plans to keep its most valued contributors firmly on their platform by offering them a generous percentage of the subscription fee.
Potentially, this will work well for larger-scale creators with a loyal and healthy following. The resulting revenue will afford them the possibility to tackle more ambitious and creative projects without having to rely on the generosity of friends and the contributions of others to finance their projects.
For years, YouTube has boasted the largest source of original content and army of content creators to be found anywhere in the world. Paid subscriptions can only improve the scale and quality of that content, but it remains to be seen if people believe it’s worthwhile to pay for something they’re used to enjoying for free.