YouTube to launch Paid Service for Channels
When YouTube was first launched, no one could have predicted that within a few years it will forever change video entertainment industry and the World Wide Web. Part of the success of the medium was the ‘freedom to the People’ it brought which encouraged users to create their own stuff and upload it for the world to admire. In a internet and entertainment dominated with video on demand and free to watch online videos it is hard to imagine that these concepts were alien only a few years earlier.
The success of the phenomena called YouTube can be gauged from the face that despite many serious rivals challenging its numero uno position the site managed to cross the viewership of one billion users only some time earlier. Its monetizing aspect with advertisements have added to the bottom line of the behemoth Google that has shown an innovative mix of freebies like search engine, Gmail, Google docs and YouTube videos with some serious marketing and money making that has propelled it to the top of the silicon valley companies.
To further its revenues the YouTube has decided to offer the subscription channels to the viewers with monthly subscription fees. Much like people paying for cable will now have to pay to view the premium content, which is in this case, premium subscription channels. Though the subscription typically starts at a low price of $0.99 with a discount on yearly subscription; for those of us accustomed to free viewing it will come as a rude shock. Mindful of the adverse consumer reaction, YouTube is starting cautiously with channels like National Geographic Kids, the Professional Golfers Association and HD Net to name but a few. Also the channels are available free for a 14 day trial period after which the consumers have the choice to pay or quit. Both YouTube and the subscription channels are quiet on the issue of paid advertising running in the programmes and the quantity of the same.
Another issue is the paid YouTube channels vs. the Pay cables that provide the same channels. Will they balance each other out or fight each other off?
With increasing convergence of technologies; the example of which we have seen with Google TVs, preloaded YouTube access for smart phones and tablets, such a move though not welcome by users was hardly unseen. Another aspect of this is how far this exercise will affect YouTube’s current dominance of the market with others players like Netflix, Hulu and Met cafe who continue to provide free video content for video-hungry Americans. And as one advertiser put it, the majority of the YouTube users are teenagers and getting them to pay up for watching videos will be uphill task for any website.