Back to IndieWire

YouTube Launches First Wave Of Paid Channels – Take A Peek…

YouTube Launches First Wave Of Paid Channels - Take A Peek...

In case you haven’t already heard, YouTube is the new TV. 

Actually, what IS television in 2013? 

I’m constantly staring at screens (big and small), almost everywhere I go – whether I’m stationary, or in motion – so I suppose one could argue that the term is becoming somewhat fluid.

There’s content everywhere, and in an effort to more directly monetize some of it (instead of relying strictly on the old ad revenue model), YouTube has launched a starter group of subscription fee-based channels.

As the company notes via press release, today, there are more than 1 million channels generating revenue on YouTube, and one of the most frequent requests made from the creators behind them is for more flexibility in monetizing and distributing content. 

And so, starting today, YouTube has debuted what it calls a pilot program for a small group of partners that will offer paid channels on YouTube, with subscription fees starting at $0.99 per month. Every channel has a 14-day free trial, and many offer discounted yearly rates. 

And once you subscribe from a computer, you’ll be able to watch paid channels on your computer, phone, tablet and TV box, and soon you’ll be able to subscribe to them from more devices.

This is just the beginning. We’ll be rolling paid channels out more broadly in the coming weeks as a self-service feature for qualifying partners. And as new channels appear, we’ll be making sure you can discover them, just as we’ve been helping you find and subscribe to all the channels you love across YouTube. Just as the partner program empowered creators to take their channels to the next level, we look forward to seeing how this great community of creators moves ahead with a new way to reach the fan communities that made their channels a hit. You’ll be hearing more from us, and them, as we get creator and user feedback and build out this exciting offering.

And, by the way, if you’re a YouTube content creator interested in building your very own paid channel, let them know HERE.

I skimmed through through the list of 30 channels and immediately noticed one called Acorn. I remembered the name, not because it’s the acronym for the infamous Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, but because, as some might recall, Robert Johnson acquired Acorn Media Group last fall, adding to his RLJ family of business. 

Acorn Media group has several international arms, with the distribution of British television programming in North America, as its primary focus. So you know what you’ll be getting there.

It’s not the only YouTube channel in Robert Johnson’s RLJ stash, by the way. There’s also the recently launched AlrightTV faith and family-friendly YouTube channel. Although that one isn’t subscription fee-based.

But another newly-launched paid YouTube channel that caught my eye is called Rap Battle Network. I think its name speaks for itself.

Check out the full roster of channels HERE, and let me know which look good to you. Also, let me know if you’d actually subscribe to any of them.

This Article is related to: News