Google's popular video sharing site YouTube could be unveiling a paid service for select channels as early as this week.
According to the Financial Times
, the service would offer a la carte subscriptions for 50 specialist video channels on YouTube. It cites people familiar with the plan to report that each channel would be priced at $1.99 per month and adds that these channels could offer original content including television shows and films. YouTube said that it had nothing to announce when the publication reached out to them for a confirmation, but did mention that it was introspecting on creating a subscription based platform to offer more great content to users and create monetization opportunities for content producers, beyond its existing rentals and advertising-based models.
YouTube's plans to offer a paid service was first uncovered
in late-January when a report had revealed that it had reached out to several video producers, asking them to submit applications to create for-pay "channels." The report had mentioned that the first such channels could be available to consumers by the second quarter for between $1 a month and $5 a month.
There was another report
that informed YouTube's Android app included two lines of code that point towards the presence of paid channel subscriptions.
YouTube, the world's No. 1 video website, has been moving to add professional-grade video programs to the vast archive of amateur, home-shot videos that made the site popular. The current crop of such channels is available to consumers for free and supported by advertising that appears alongside videos.
YouTube has hinted in the past that it was considering offering subscription-based paid content. YouTube boss Salar Kamangar had told Reuters in June 2012 that there was strong demand among certain YouTube video producers, such as video game networks, to offer fee-based programs.
A recent report
had also suggested that Google was set to unveil a music streaming website of its own under the YouTube brand within this year with both free and ad-free option, supported by a subscription fee.