Published on February 18th, 2013 | by Alex Veeneman0
POLL: YouTube Considering Paid Subscriptions
Image courtesy of sxc.hu.
Alex Veeneman, Opinions Editor
The video site YouTube is said to be considering introducing a plan of paid subscriptions, which would see viewers being charged for access to some channels.
In a report from the publication Ad Age cited by the technology news website Mashable, YouTube is said to be rolling out these subscriptions for approximately a couple dozen channels. Subscription costs are due to be between $1 and $5 a month, with the option to include advertisements in the videos, according to conversations with persons familiar with the plans.
Requests by The Flyer seeking comment to Google, YouTube’s parent company, were not returned. In a statement to Ad Age, however, a Google representative said that the content would vary on the payment model.
“We have long maintained that different content requires different types of payment models,” the respresentative said. “The important thing is that, regardless of the model, our creators succeed on the platform. There are a lot of our content creators that think they would benefit from subscriptions, so we’re looking at that.”
Dr. Ray Klump, chairman of Lewis’ Math and Computer Science Departments, said that Google is trying to figure out how to revolutionize television, and that Apple has been trying to do the same.
“Thus far, despite GoogleTV-equipped televisions and the AppleTV product, people haven’t flocked to these solutions as an alternative to Comcast or Dish Network, perhaps because they don’t offer live sports or other live TV,” Klump said. “If they can test out this pay-per-view model on YouTube, they can determine whether it is feasible to start buying the rights to sporting events in the same way the major networks do, because they’ll have evidence that people are willing to pay for content online.”
Klump added that Google could also be considering the competition from Netflix, which has introduced original programs that users are being charged for.
YouTube is extremely popular with students, whether it is a music video, a comedy clip or a sports highlight.
Joey Preston, senior radio/TV broadcasting and multimedia journalism major, said the hits and figures for YouTube would drop significantly if the plan goes ahead.
“I think they would lose a lot of their viewership because one appeal of YouTube is its free use,” Preston said. “I don’t think I would YouTube anymore, and I would find other viewing resources.”
Katie Broenneke, senior elementary education major, said that the interest in YouTube will continue.
“I personally don’t even have a YouTube account, so I won’t use the features that require me to spend money on them,” Broenneke said. “I will still continue to use YouTube’s free features, if they still have some. I think people will still be using YouTube because it’s such a popular website, but I can see people getting upset over having to pay for certain features.”
Reports indicate that the plan to charge for access to content on YouTube could start as early as April.