YouTube on Thursday unveiled its subscription model, allowing channels to charge monthly fees to viewers who want to access their videos.
The move represents a significant departure from the free, ad-supported model that has thus far propelled YouTube’s phenomenal growth from a little known Silicon Valley startup in 2005 to an online video powerhouse with more than 1 billion active monthly viewers.
Thirty pilot channels taking the subscrption plunge include Sesame Street, UFC, Rap Battles, Jim Henson Family TV and others. Every channel will have a 14-day free trial, the company announced on its blog, and prices will range from as little as 99 cents a month with many channels offering deals for bundled channels or annual subscriptions. Channels are free to charge any amount above .99 cents a month, although many are averaging $2.99 a month. Subscribers will be able to pay via Google Wallet or credit cards.
Continue reading the rest of the story on Billboard