Over the past few weeks we've been hearing a few reports that Google would be introducing some sort of paid channel subscription service for YouTube. Paying a monthly fee to watch your favorite YouTuber. Many were expecting something quite large, but today Google quietly confirmed that starting today this is real and available now in a small pilot program.
The initial pilot program appears to have 53 partners already on board with Google, and they'll be adding many more in the coming weeks and months. At first you might be worried, but this isn't current content you love now costing some coin, instead it's new content that will give us something worth watching, and YouTube partners a better way to make a profit from their work.
Looking down the list there isn't anything too major in the lineup of paid channel subscriptions. I think the only one I'd actually pay for is UFC Select to watch fights, get access to exclusive video and more. No more searching for UFC fights that get pulled, or some teen that uploaded his fight from the Xbox game. Photo guide channels, recipe.TV, Laugh Factory, Comedy.TV and much more. So while it's a decent start, nothing too eye-catching here.
As you can see Laugh Factory has a free 14-day trail, and then will run YouTube viewers $2.99 per month, while bigger subscriptions such as the UFC was $5.99 and up. The full list can be found at YouTube/paid_channels. Again, we aren't losing content here, just gaining additional options, but at a cost.
Once you pay for a channel you can view it with that Google account from your computer, laptop, tablet, or even smart TV's. More channels are coming soon, and Google states all will require the 14-day free trial option. Now just give me HBO and Showtime for $4.99 a month and I'm sold.