fter months of rumors, YouTube finally introduced a pilot program for paid channels on Thursday. YouTube will now let a few dozen of popular channels charge viewers a subscription fee of 99 cents or more per month, the company announced in a blog post. Each of these channels will offer two weeks of free viewing before charges kick in and some will provide discounts for those who sign up for an annual subscription.
“This is just the beginning,” YouTube said in the blog post. “We’ll be rolling paid channels out more broadly in the coming weeks as a self-service feature for qualifying partners.”
The move comes with relatively little risk for YouTube and the possibility of generating significant revenue by taking a cut of subscription fees and advertisements that air on the channels.