YouTube unveiled today a number of partnerships with well known publishers to offer paid subscriptions to their channels.
A new area for YouTube, and one that we expect to be both incredibly popular with content creators and extremely profitable for YouTube.
Why did it take so long?
My first reaction on hearing the news was why on earth did it take so long for this decision to be made? YouTube has been dominant in the video space for many years now, and never has there been a media capable of such rapid viral growth. With so many viewers, so much copyrighted content and such high bandwidth costs, how did this not happen sooner?
Of course there are plenty of sceptical folks claiming that no one will pay to watch videos on YouTube. Just like people won’t pay for music on Spotify or iTunes, no doubt. The truth is that if it’s good content and people see value in it, there will be a significant volume of peeps who are happy to pay to watch it, just like Netflix or cable TV subscriptions.
With subscriptions starting at $0.99 per month, it’ll be interesting to see where the prices end up for different markets and audiences.
This is EXCITING
So why are we at Ninja HQ jumping for joy at this announcement? The way I see it, there are 2 main benefits for the viewers:
- New and better content will be made available once the content creators are being paid for it. Perhaps we’ll see subscription channels from film studios, or channels specifically for films that work in partnership with the studios to release films or previews? Live streaming of sports events? Who knows but one thing is for sure – if there’s an income, more content creators will feel comfortable about using YouTube as a place for their content
- There has long been a bit of a vacuum for content creators getting paid for what they do. Kinda like the music industry, except they haven’t really figured that out yet whereas the video world looks to have found a solution finally. If content creators are getting paid, they can continue doing what they’re doing, which is awesome for everyone
Benefits for content creators:
- A new possible source of income for a huge variety of different business types, from publishers of educational content, sports, even porn (I’m only partially joking).
- Finally a legit way of monetising a large YouTube audience more directly than selling products and services on the backend.
- A way of putting content out there without potentially devaluing it by it being available for ‘free’
Who else will benefit?
It all depends on the content that ends up being most popular on these subscription channels, but where there’s a paywall we’re likely to see an increase in sharing of YouTube videos. Whether it’s YouTube video ripping software, mirror sites or sites dedicated to sharing paid content for free, no doubt there will be plenty of entrepreneurial activity from those who don’t feel the burden of rules and laws.
Whatever happens, I think this is a really exciting move and could really cause a huge shift in the way we view content, literally!