YouTube’s paid subscription move lauded

YouTube’s move for paid subscriptions will be a strong step in to further monetising its potential, say industry experts.

Yesterday, news broke of the online video platform looking to offer paid subscriptions for some of its content and that it was reaching out to video producers to create paid channels.

A YouTube spokesperson confirmed to Marketing that this was in the works, saying: “We have long maintained that different content requires different types of payment models. The important thing is that, regardless of the model, our creators succeed on the platform. There are a lot of our content creators that think they would benefit from subscriptions, so we’re looking at that.”

Earlier this year, YouTube was already reaching out to local content creators in several Asian markets for collaborations on high quality content.

Now, the move for paid subscription channels is a step further in creating new revenue streams for the company.

Matthew Drury, head of digital, MEC interaction Singapore said the move is positive for content curators and advertisers and would also offer competitive advantage as a longer-form platform.

“Google has sometimes struggled to sell YouTube as a substitute for TV due to less insight on its audience then its above-the-line alternative,” he said.

“The current barrier is that most consumers still regard YouTube as a short form platform (although the partnership with the Olympics and other main events has helped move that perception).”

He added Google should pick one or two wide appeal content partners to be able to drive mass appeal, though it still has a long way to go before it is playing in the same space as Netflix and Hulu.

As for revenue streams this can only be good news for Google, says Drury.

But could the move result in a possible dip in its visitorship?

According to Drury, no. “One thing Youtube doesn’t lack is user numbers. Google doesn’t manage to monetise this anywhere near its potential at the moment so any small drop off you may get from users not wanting to pay will be un- noticeable,” he said.

“The prospect of being more accurate with targeting through better insights will lead Google justifying a higher price for its audiences too.”

Leela Nair, managing director at Mindshare Singapore also said the move for non-user generated content is a great progression for the online video platform.

“Naturally this won’t affect any of the current advertising opportunities, as users will still consume the UGC videos, but perhaps now YouTube will also be considered by advertisers for on-demand video content (obviously depending on the quality).”

While it is not the first time that YouTube has considered this, previous stumbling blocks around video rights and remuneration have held it back, but with a pay-per-view model, it will be much easier to share the profits and protect the content (like standard distribution methods), Nair said.

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