Google-owned YouTube appears to be considering a subscription-based service for premium content, according to the New York Post. What that seems to mean is that YouTube will be adding some premium content and putting it behind a pay-wall, and won't be charging for stuff that is already free. The move is being considered because many of the content providers who want to go on YouTube are not too keen on putting their content up on the site for free with just the advertising dollars, so to accommodate those providers, YouTube is thinking about making a pay-for-play deal.
What Does This Potential Move Mean For YouTube?
Well, it just means they continue to try to be everything for everyone. We'll still be able to go on the site and see pretty much all the stuff we're already seeing, but we'll have more options if we decide we want to pay for other content. It's kind of like when YouTube started providing movies and putting little price tags next to them. What you may not have known is that YouTube has been doing this, but not with something many of us in America care about: there's a subscription service called WillowTV that plays cricket events around the world for roughly $50.
I can only imagine which kind of businesses have been approaching YouTube about pay-wall content, but it would be stellar if any of the major sports offered their services. Or bands offering full concerts and tours. Maybe cable companies unleashing some of their episodes. But knowing the brands that flock to YouTube, it might be some smaller-scale sports and music providers looking to get there, but production on their shows are expensive and can't rely on the advertiser-only model.
Every time this kind of idea pops up, we start wondering what the next thing we're going to have to pay for is going to be. If the door is opened, then everything is subject for a charge to your credit card. But I don't think this news is going to eventually mean that we'll have to plunk down 50 cents to watch, "Baby laughing" or "Star Wars kid." It appears to be the YouTube spirit: let's try to have something that appeals to all sorts of different people, we'll have a ton of free stuff, some pay stuff, almost everyone's happy, some people will be mad, we move on.