Will YouTube introduce a subscription service?

17 December 2009

In a bid to ensure the service does more than create minor celebrities out of performing animals and fat lads dressed as characters from Tron, YouTube is considering introducing a subscription service so the site can carry more material from TV and film studios.

The site is already offering some full-length programmes alongside the several million Downfall parodies available, but many companies are resistant to offering too many releases for fear of cannibalising their own revenue streams through net and DVD sales - advertising revenue wouldn't come close to replacing the amounts currently earned. Other options being considered by YouTube include variations of monthly subscription models and film rentals similar to iTunes.

It's clearly a direction YouTube want to move in - YouTube XL was launched in June, which exists solely to provide a television-standard experience for viewers. While it's miles behind YouTube in terms of users, Hulu has come from practically nowhere to claim second place as the most-watched video site in the US - and it's running full-length programming with its advertising inventory sold out. Still no word on a UK launch date, though. Bah.


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