Last year in the month of March, YouTube, Google’s video social network had introduced video rentals and purchase. Now YouTube has introduced paid subscriptions for content partners in India, reports Medianama. It is being said that the service was apparently rolled out very quietly, late in December 2013.
The YouTube paid channel which allows users to pay a monthly or yearly subscription fee to watch its videos is not currently available to all content partners. To be eligible to create paid channels, you must own a free channel with at least 10,000 subscribers and reside in one of the supported locales. As admin or the owner of the channel you can define one or more offers that set the terms of a subscription.
As a subscriber of the paid channel, one gets access to the paid content along with a 14-day trial period. Users subscribe to paid channels on the web at YouTube.com, and then can view the content on various platforms and devices.
Right now, Bhakti Times from MiMedia is one of the content creators that has been listed on the paid channels category. The channel is charging Rs. 65 per month for watching its videos. The religious channel which is asking users to opt for paid subscription has uploaded three videos and this is where it is going to be tough to convince users to opt for paid subscriptions. The other problem would be convincing Indian users to use credit cards. Operator billing could be one of the options that YouTube can look at a later stage.
Saying that this would provide an opportunity for content providers to create exclusive content for YouTube and try to see if they can generate any revenue for themselves. Homeveda the startup which is providing DIY video content in the health and wellness space could benefit from this feature. The startup’s journey which we had shared recently has more than 333 videos and is subscribed by more than 267K people.
Similarly short film production houses or movies which can’t bear the big budget cost can think of using this subscription based feature.
At the same time this is also an opportunity for YouTube to attract more original content for the platform and showcase an alternative for TV. With this move YouTube pushes itself in the competition zone of video streaming providers such as Spuul, BoxTV and others. Specially at a time when Spuul is releasing exclusive Bollywood movies such as Ankhon Dekhi for the NRI audience.
However, a lot would depend on whether the content creators are ready to forget advertising revenue and look for the subscription model in the coming days.