YouTube paid subscriptions start June 15th

Back in April, YouTube announced it was launching an ad-free pay-for-service feature.  Now the day is here: this coming Monday June 15th. The impact on direct marketers: TBD.

Premium users can pay $10 a month for extra features and access to exclusive content, including offline viewing and no-ad videos. Also accessible will be films hereto hidden behind a paywall by their creators and thus watchable only by premium users.

Bloomberg quotes YouTube: “By creating a new paid offering, we’ll generate a new source of revenue that will supplement your fast growing advertising service.”

So is this simply another case of the ongoing Netflix-izing of yet another populist media outlet? Seems the move came out of discussions between YouTube and people who make video content for the service who were interested in focusing their product on paying customers—with the ability to leverage hence a percentage of revenues (55%).

Not a shock, really. YouTube parent Google has been on the hunt for a while for an integrated payment system for the video sharing giant, allowing users to be charged (the Netflix model, again). Their first rodeo was to set that up for music videos and tracks (YouTube Music Key), enabling viewers to opt out of ads and access other rich features via monthly subscription.

The site also allows users to rent or buy films through the service (Netflix!!)—a source of huge press when the controversial film The Interview was hacked and subsequently posted by the producers on YouTube.

So—marketing impact? What does this mean for brands who utilize YouTube as a media channel? Smart theory would look at it as yet another target market to identify…with specific ad-free content on its way.

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Direct Choice Inc. is a full-service direct marketing agency that has worked with national and regional brands in a wide variety of vertical markets. In addition to this blog, you can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

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