News broke earlier this week that YouTube would be offering a paid subscription service for select channels who'll be able to offer premium content for monthly fees. Today, the company made this move official with an announcement that, starting today, it will be "launching 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."
The two launch partners mentioned in YouTube's blog post are Sesame Workshop, who'll be offering full episodes of the seminal children's show on its paid channel, and UFC, who'll be giving subscribers the chance to see classic fights on its channel. Channels that might be of particular interest to Indiewire readers include Docurama, Gravitas Movies, Magnet Releasing and more.
According to the New York Times' Brian Stelter, YouTube will soon be giving other creators a chance to own paid channels via a "self-service feature," which is potentially a major offering, as it will give non-corporate YouTube stars a chance to try to monetize their videos via subscriptions. How successful they'll be is another open question.
Paid channels will be rolling out in the coming weeks. Subscribers will pay using Google Wallet, and will be able to watch these paid channels on computers, mobile devices and television.
A full list of the paid channels currently available is below: