Google is in talks with US TV networks to charge viewers for streaming ad-free shows on YouTube, according to reports. Technology website All Things Digital reports that that “preliminary discussions” are taking place in the US between Google, which owns YouTube, and some of the major television networks. The move would see viewers charged around $1.99 to watch episodes of their favourite shows online, without any adverts, the day after they were first broadcast on TV.
It would put Google in direct competition with Apple, which offers a similar service through its iTunes store.
The business model would be targeted at shows which have traditionally been released on DVD.
Giving viewers the chance to pay to stream episodes of those sorts of programmes could provide an additional revenue stream for broadcasters.
Google said it does not comment on rumour and speculation.