YouTube has officially launched a paid subscription offering, allowing select partners to charge as little as $0.99 per month for access to their content. From the YouTube blog post announcing the new intitiative:
“Every channel has a 14-day free trial, and many offer discounted yearly rates. For example, Sesame Street will be offering full episodes on their paid channel when it launches. And UFC fans can see classic fights, like a full version of their first event from UFC’s new channel. You might run into more of these channels across YouTube. Once you subscribe from a computer, you’ll be able to watch paid channels on your computer, phone, tablet and TV, and soon you’ll be able to subscribe to them from more devices.”
Partners include The Young Turks, UFC, Jim Henson Company, Mark Cuban’s HDNet and the Sesame Workshop. Not all channels are live yet, a first list of 53 initial launch partners can be found here.
Some of the new partners should come as no surprise to paidContent readers: We reported earlier this week that YouTube’s employees have been testing paid channels for the Sesame Workshop, Baby First TV and Cookie Jar TV for months.
YouTube said Thursday that it wants to make subscriptions available as a self-serve feature to select partners soon. Asked how big of a cut YouTube is taking from subscription fees, a spokesperson told me that partners get to keep “the majority share,” without elaborating further.