YouTube is reportedly "experimenting" with the idea of charging people to watch some of the videos on its website.
Google, which operates the vast library of funny cat footage, has asked 25 or so producers to put forward applications to create channels of videos that would cost viewers $1 to $5 a month to access. This is according to Advertising Age, which cited multiple people familiar with the dealings.
The same report added that YouTube execs are also mulling over applying what in effect would be pay-per-view fees for live events, content libraries, self-help or financial advice programmes served up by the website.
A Google spokesman told the magazine:
We have long maintained that different content requires different types of payment models.
The important thing is that, regardless of the model, our creators succeed on the platform. There are a lot of our content creators that think they would benefit from subscriptions, so we're looking at that.
YouTube could start charging for such content as soon as this spring, apparently, and is likely to split the subscription revenues 45-55 favouring the filmmakers - this is similar to how money from advertising on free-to-watch videos is divvied up between the web giant and its content-uploading users. ®