Thursday, May 9, 2013

It is Official - Paid Subscriber Channels on YouTube

It has been officially announced that viewers can now directly support their favorite programs and content producers via paid subscriptions. According to the YouTube Creator Blog, viewers can pay a monthly subscription fee starting at 99 cents a month.

I can tell you right now I wouldn't watch a golf video if you paid me. However, there are people that would love to access golf training, tutorials and conversations with those on the inside of the green.

I've paid for wisdom in book form, in magazines and podcasts. It would not be a stretch if I thought that the content was good enough to support it?

I can see folks finally making the connection with the multiplication tables. If you have 5,000 people paying 99 cents a month for 12 months how much money is that?

That is going to be the real test; there are thousands of channels that provide wisdom, food recipes and skill development. What will be the expectations of the audience? How do solo creators not burn out or sell out?

It is one thing to participate in a Kickstarter campaign to have a movie or video created. This would be an on-going commitment from viewers like you. Like PBS and NPR aren't going to bum rush to the front of the line? Or the local non-profit station in a tiny town looking for funding?

Or that noxious rap or country artist that will insist on their own paid channel?

Questions, questions and more questions.

What I am concerned about the the potential pushing out of non-commercial user generated content. Nothing will stop the cat videos (dang it.) Sadly, I am observing commercial networks, newspapers,and advertising outlets are about to rush in and set up camp.

I never wanted to see the crap from American network television to come into web video space. Good content is going to wind up behind a firewall and I can't get happy about that.

I can get happy that creative people will, for the time being be able to generate cash flow without the need for middle people/handlers.

But the carpet baggers are moving in as well.

There is still time. Make that move.

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  1. There are some things on YouTube such as the WIGS series that I would pay to see. However, the videos in the web series WIGS all have big advertisers on board. If I watch 4 episodes of a series, as I did yesterday with the release of 4 new episodes in the "Lauren" series, I sit through 4 ads. It would be interesting to compare how much they make from advertisers vs. subscriptions. If I pay to subscribe to something, I'll really be upset if I have to sit through ads.

    1. I'm not paying a subscription fee and still have to watch ads. It is one of the reasons I will not pay for Hulu.

      It is why I don't watch cable TV; paying for access and content and still have to watch ads? No way.

      I can understand if subscribers get first viewing of content and the free version has ads support. It gives me a choice.

      This is all new territory. The big corporate players will do fine. I just hope that new voices and ideas aren't snuffed out because no one wants to take a chance on doing something different.


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