YouTube takes on Amazon and Netflix with paid TV channels

10/05/2013

YouTube is testing paid channels on its website, charging user from $0.99 a month to watch select content such as full Sesame Street episodes or the National Geographic Kids channel.

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Under the new scheme, 53 subscription channels will charge viewers $0.99 (£0.64) to watch online a month.

Each channel will offer a free 14-day trial and many will have discounted annual rates.

YouTube, which is owned by Google, said the launch was part of an effort to enable "content creators to earn revenue for their creativity".

For example, the children's television favourite, Sesame Street will offer full episodes on its pay channel when it launches.

Subscribers can pay using either their credit cards or through Google's own Wallet service.
The paid channels include National Geographic Kids, Acorn - which provides episodes from several British TV series -and Fix My Hog Premium, which is aimed at Harley Davidson motorcycle enthusiasts.

"This is just the beginning", YouTube said on its blog. "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."

The move puts YouTube in competition with the likes of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon in offering subscription-based alternatives to traditional pay-TV.

Google bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65bn. The service is believed to generate a small amount of revenue from advertising, but the vast majority of its content has been free-to-watch.

YouTube says a billion people around the world use the service every month.

"If YouTube were a country, we'd be the third largest in the world after China and India," the company said in March.

Read the official blog here

Click here for a list of paid channels

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