Google has officially launched its much talked about paid video subscriptions service for YouTube. Google says it’s currently a “pilot program” with subscription plans starting at 99 cents a month. The paid channels are currently being offered with 14-day free trial and could be available at discounted price if user chooses to subscribe for a year at a time.
YouTube’s paid video subscriptions service currently features 53 channels, featuring content from HDNet, UFC and the PGA Digital Golf Academy. Some of the subscriptions are priced as high as $9.99 a month. Once you have bought a subscription to a paid channel, you’ll be able to check out videos on computer as well as mobile devices.
“This is just the beginning. We’ll be rolling paid channels out more broadly in the coming weeks as a self-service feature for qualifying partners. And as new channels appear, we’ll be making sure you can discover them, just as we’ve been helping you find and subscribe to all the channels you love across YouTube,” says Google in a post.
“Just as the partner program empowered creators to take their channels to the next level, we look forward to seeing how this great community of creators moves ahead with a new way to reach the fan communities that made their channels a hit. You’ll be hearing more from us, and them, as we get creator and user feedback and build out this exciting offering.”
Google’s new service is yet another way from the Internet giant to monetise its video sharing network. It’s notable rival video networking sites such as Vimeo have already been trying to woo advertisers as well as offering on-demand videos. YouTube also shows skippable and non-skippable ads.
Plans for Google’s paid service were detailed earlier this week by The Financial Times, though hints had already started showing up in strings of code back in February.