YouTube is poised to launch a new paid subscription service which would charge users to watch exclusive channels and content on the global video platform.
According a report in the Financial Times, a single-channel subscription is expected to cost about $2 per month and will apply to around 50 channels on the Google-owned video network.
It’s suspected that paying customers will be granted access to exclusive videos, TV shows and films from selected specialist channels.
The move sees YouTube join Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.com in offering quality entertainment exclusively online for paying customers.
When contacted by B&T today Google said: "We have nothing to announce at this time, but we're looking into creating a subscription platform that could bring even more great content to YouTube for our users to enjoy and provide our partners with another vehicle to generate revenue from their content, beyond the rental and ad-supported models we offer."
YouTube launched 60 partner channels in October last year which included BBC Worldwide On Earth, ITN, Mixmag TV and the Jamie Oliver Food Channel. Other partners include Channel 4 and Film 4, The Onion and Howcast, but it’s not yet known which of these partner channels will be included in YouTube's subscription service when it launches.
A source told the Financial Times that the new subscription channels were designed to display archived content and exclusive previews and clips.
Furthermore, it’s suspected that the subscription revenue will be used to fund new TV and film programs that will be shown exclusively on YouTube, much like Netflix is doing with shows like House of Cards.
Amazon is also commissioning its own exclusive content, recently embarking on a project which sees web uses from U.S, U.K. and Germany watch, rate and critique 14 pilot episodes, with the most popular going into full-scale production.