YouTube to Test Paid SubscriptionsWritten by Michael Levanduski
January 30, 2013 # 10:35 am # Industry News, Specials # One Comment
There are plenty of places for marketers to look when they present interest in starting a video marketing campaign, but most commonly we see marketers turning to YouTube for video marketing solutions. This is mainly because the site sort of combines video marketing with social, and allows marketers to reach such a grand audience. However, what if in some way YouTube did something that decreased the amount of marketing that takes place on their video sharing network, such as revealing a way for users to get rid of ads all together? Well, although that will not be happening anytime in the near, or even distant future, YouTube is now trying out a new idea that could hurt marketers in a few ways.
According to Ad Age, YouTube has decided that they will begin testing out paid subscriptions for users on their site. With people subscribing to popular channels more than ever these days, it seems that YouTube has found another way to bring in revenue for the site.
YouTube is treating paid subscriptions as an experiment. much like video rentals when it began in 2010. The initial group of channels will be small, likely about 25 at the outset. The revenue split from subscriptions is expected to be similar to the 45-55 split that is common for ads on YouTube. Partners will also have the option to include ads in their pay channels, but its unclear what form those will take.
Having users pay upwards of $1 to $5 per month, YouTube hopes to increase their revenue by what would be quite a lot, if the idea were taken well by these users.
Now, what exactly can we expect from YouTube users as a reaction to this new idea that is to be tested out? Well, I am sure that it is no surprise that most of the responses have been negative. For example, take a look at this reaction from @MadMaxde as a response to a CNet article reporting YouTube’s new endeavors.
I simply said that if youtube is planning on turning to a subscription base that I would not pander into it. They have been a free use website for many years (at least for entertainment purposes, I don’t have a channel myself), and have made huge amounts of revenue from the ads plastered all over the website. This subscription model looks to be a way for them to squeeze out more revenue from the individuals that are actually taking their time to make meaningful content. If you would like to start paying for all these videos that have been FREE for so many years be my guest. I, however, do not plan on supporting youtube as they bleed the community dry.
If it is not easy to see just how this could affect marketers, it is because there is only a chance that it will. There is reason to believe that if YouTube does decide to make these paid subscriptions a more widespread thing, some of the more popular channels on the site will opt in to have their channels be paid for by users. Also, it is rumored that those people who run these popular channels will have to make a choice between ads or paid subscriptions. There is a good chance that YouTube will not make people pay for subscriptions and then continue to throw ads at users on the channels that they have paid for. So, advertisers may be out of luck when it comes to advertising with the more popular channels on YouTube, but we will just have to wait and see what the next move from YouTube actually turns out to be.