YouTube Launching Paid Channel Subscriptions This Spring

Google wants YouTube to be more than the World’s Largest Cat Video Collection, and it has a surefire plan to bring in higher quality video: money. Word on the street is that 2013 will see YouTube launch a subscription model that will give serious video producers an avenue for bringing in paying customers on YouTube.

It might not be too long before you're seeing prices next to the Subscribe buttons on YouTube.

Because Google hasn’t made an official announcement, pricing can’t be verified, but at the moment, it sounds as though subscriptions will be $5 or less. You’ll be able to subscribe to specific channels. There may be other paid options coming down the line, including early-access to specific videos and pay-per-view events.

Obviously, a paid subscription model is likely to start off small. Reports suggest that only 25 or so producers will offer paid subscription channels at the outset and the number will gradually increase. The rest of YouTube’s videos will remain free. However, ads are reportedly being considered, as well. It’s almost starting to sound like traditional TV, isn’t it?