Google is apparently going ahead with plans to launch a paid YouTube service later this year. At the moment it has managed to sign up YouTube partners, but the major TV networks are holding out. In the US, Fox, NBC and CBS have not yet got onboard.
But without TV network support, the service will need paying subscribers with its own original content (much like Netflix, with the House of Cards) or attract payers with its home grown starts and music videos.
YouTube paid service going ahead
YouTube said this week that “we are progressing according to plan”, adding that “we have support from the overwhelming majority of our partners, with well over 90 percent of YouTube watchtime covered by agreements, and more in the pipeline about to close”.
YouTube’s terms dictate that partners can’t make their videos public or monetise them unless they’re part of the new paid service. They can upload videos and keep them private, but to make money off them they have to opt into the paid system too. For anyone that makes a living from YouTube, it makes sense. They could be set to make more cash than they do now under the new system.
But as for the TV networks, there’s still time to sign up. Most though have already signed deals with companies like Netflix and Amazon for TV series. YouTube has in the past just been a way to promote shows with short clips from individual episodes, rather than a whole series.
Music videos are a much bigger draw to YouTube than any network shows, and the company will continue to show official music videos as part of its paid and ad-based services.
YouTube is however rumoured to be working on original content. The company has more than a dozens original shows in the works with budgets up to $5 million each. Many of those will only be available to paying subscribers.