Would you pay to watch YouTube? In an attempt to generate more revenue, Time reports that it might cost YouTube viewers $0.99/month to watch some of their favorite channels through a new subscription model where popular video producers can begin to charge a monthly fee. According to Time, “Any video creator who has 10,000 subscribers and has been verified by YouTube will be able to set up a new paid channel and charge a fee for access to their content.”
Part of the beauty of YouTube is the wealth of free content that has always been available to viewers. When our kids were young, we loved pulling up favorite Sesame Street clips for them to watch to watch on-demand via YouTube, but now Sesame Workshop is one of the channels that requires viewers to pay for content at the price of $1.99 per Sesame Street episode.
We’ve also spent a lot of time using YouTube to master different Rainbow Loom patterns. My daughter has found endless Rainbow Loom tutorials, watching looming guru Ashley Steph to learn Starburst, Rainbow Ladder, and Zippy Chain bracelets. Since my daughter makes and sells the bracelets to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (her best friend has cystic fibrosis), it makes me sad to think that my charitable kid would have to raise her prices to pay for a subscription along with her rubber band costs.
At first I was thinking that maybe I’m just cheap and too used to getting online content for free (after all, I wouldn’t want to pay for expert advice from the internet!) but apparently I’m not alone.
“I can’t imagine any topic that I would pay $0.99/month to watch,” says Michele McGraw of Scraps of My Geek Life. “I’ll just search for the information elsewhere. Or I’d rather look at ads.”
Little Tech Girl, Kris Cain, feels the same way. “I wouldn’t pay to watch YouTube content. I already pay for Netflix and Hulu. I think of YouTube as a platform for sharing free information. If I had to pay, I just would not watch it.”
So while YouTube is aiming to generate more revenue from popular channels, the paid model might not be one that viewers are on board with. But if the tables were turned would bloggers monetize their content in a heartbeat? McGraw says no because she’d probably lose viewers. “I’d charge brands to have me make videos of their products, but no way would I charge my viewers.”
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