Would you pay for YouTube?

Probably not if the only things on offer were keyboard playing hamsters and siblings bullying one another, but what if it meant being able to stream unlimited high quality content from serious production companies? With the rise of Netflix, YouTube must have felt they were missing a trick and with over 1 billion users a month they’ll be optimistic about the revenue generating potential of an imminent subscription service, as reported on Sunday in the Financial Times.

The subscription service will only apply to some channels – sneezing pandas will remain free you’ll be relieved to hear – and YouTube argue it will increase not only offer a new source of revenue for content publishers but also improve the range of premium content available for viewers.

Last week Eric Schmidt claimed that YouTube has now overtaken television. That may be a bold statement but if they are able to successfully integrate a Netflix style offering then it’s difficult to see anything preventing televisions’ demise from accelerating over the next couple of years. Netflix will also be concerned, with the Financial Times reporting that users may be charged just $1.99 (approximately £1.28) which is considerably cheaper than Netflix.

Now, back to that hamster….


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