Paid YouTube Subscriptions Go Live

on Thursday, May. 9th

It was hinted at earlier in the week, and now it is our grim, streaming reality. YouTube has begun offering up paid subscriptions as an option for some of their partners:

Starting today, we’re launching a pilot program for a small group of partners that will offer paid channels on YouTube with subscription fees starting at $0.99 per month. Every channel has a 14-day free trial, and many offer discounted yearly rates. For example, Sesame Street will be offering full episodes on their paid channel when it launches. And UFC fans can see classic fights, like a full version of their first event from UFC’s new channel. You might run into more of these channels across YouTube, or look here for a list of pilot channels. Once you subscribe from a computer, you’ll be able to watch paid channels on your computer, phone, tablet and TV, and soon you’ll be able to subscribe to them from more devices.

The model is fairly similar to what you can already find on iTunes. Individual episodes can be purchased for streaming, if the channel so chooses, or a monthly pass can be purchased. The National Geographic Kids channel, for example, offers up subscriptions at $3.99/month or $29.99/year while UFC clocks in at $5.99/month.

Close observation of the pricing information on both these channels makes it clear this content is being offered up with no advertising. That it is listed at all suggests that it is still possible to put ads on this paid content. Ooooh, I can't wait.

The list of channels currently available is… interesting. Then again, it's YouTube, so that they even have entertainment brands the caliber of UFC and the Jim Henson Company is a positive sign for Google's continuing bid for world domination.

At least they're not asking us to pay for Fred.

H/T: The Verge

Follow Noah Nelson on Twitter (@noahjnelson)


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