In January 2013, YouTube hinted at a possible paid subscription option for Channels, which would help brands and the Google-owned site make money from video content production. The idea circulated the web, and Brafton reported that companies could create their own premium media and charge users for access to uploaded content. However, The Financial Times reported on new information about the paid subscription option, which suggests its roll out could be in the immediate future, but only for select broadcasters.
According to the source, YouTube will unveil as many as 50 subscription-based Channels with fees around $1.99 a month. The Financial Times also notes that these services will offer similar experiences to what’s currently seen Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. While YouTube thrives on user-generated content, the new business move affects marketers who use the channel for brand awareness.
Businesses could promote their own products and services as ads before premium content to drive traffic back to their own Channels. Companies with video marketing campaigns can also capture YouTube members’ attention once they’re already on the site looking for premium content. They will benefit from a wider audience if YouTube offers paid Channels because people will check out an episode of a TV show or other media and then click around the site for other interesting videos.
Google’s video-sharing site recently surpassed the 1 billion monthly active user mark. Companies must see YouTube’s reach as video marketing opportunities, especially with video consumption up year-over-year. If visual media isn’t already part of a content marketing campaign, it should be a top priority in the future.