YouTube has officially announced a new pilot program where content creators can choose to have users pay to subscribe to their channels. This doesn’t mean that all your favorite content on YouTube isn’t going to be free anymore — it’s a service that’s open for a small set of YouTube partners to take advantage of, at least for now.
Paid channels will have subscription fees starting at $0.99 and every channel that does this will (thankfully) have a 14-day free trial. That way, you’ll be able to make sure the content you’re paying for is really worth it. Also, many of the paid channels will have yearly discounted rates. So if your kid loves watching their Sesame Street on YouTube, subscribing for a year might be a good idea to save some cash — the channel will begin offering full episodes when it launches. YouTube also plans on broadening this service as time goes on, eventually making it a self-service feature for “qualifying partners.”
Paying for content on YouTube isn’t actually a new concept, some channels have been charging for rentals of movies and season subscriptions for some time now. Now the initial reaction to hearing that YouTube will begin offering paid subscriptions might be a negative one, but let’s try not to forget the creators behind all the content we enjoy. It gives those that work hard on making compelling videos another avenue to get something back for what they do — just make sure you put your money in the right places.