According to a number of new reports YouTube may start to charge users to view some videos on the platform.
The changes to the hugely popular online video sharing site, owned by Internet giant Google, could occur as early as next week.
A report in The Financial Times has suggested users could be charged around £1.28 a month to view videos. At present however, sources close to Google have suggested this would only apply to 50 as of yet unnamed channels.
A Google spokesman said the firm was: “Looking into creating a subscription platform that could bring even more great content to YouTube for our users to enjoy and provide our creators with another vehicle to generate revenue from their content, beyond the rental and ad-supported models we offer.”
Only last week, Google chairman, Eric Schmidt waxed lyrical about the huge impact of YouTube calling it the definitive and dominant platform for viewing videos among the young generation, something he hopes can be successfully extended beyond that demographic to others as well.
He said: “It’s not a replacement for something that we know. It’s a new thing that we have to think about, to program, to curate and build new platforms.”
In March of this year, the YouTube blog reported the site was now receiving over one billion unique users each month. Videos such as Korean singer Psy’s Gangnam Style, which has been viewed more than 1.5 billion times, have seen millions of people flock to the site in order to catch the latest meme or online video craze.
For those in the Internet marketing industry, the site offers many advantages as it can draw in a wide audience of people when used effectively for content marketing purposes.
Others use the site as part of their digital marketing campaigns by the use of advertisements. In fact, most of platform’s revenue is driven by ads. In 2012 this figure stood at $3.1 bn (£1.96bn).
A paid subscription would allow the monetizing of content not typically advertiser-friendly, but sources close to the matter have suggested that ads will still have a place even in the new premium subscription services.
As of yet however, YouTube has made no comment on the matter, simply writing in an official statement it was considering a paid subscription platform, but had ‘nothing to announce at this time’.
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