YouTube has all but come out in the open and started speaking about the rumoured paid-channel service it's about to launch sometime soon. The newest update to YouTube’s Android app has been revealed to contain code that confirms that the service is on its way.
Revealed by Android Police, the code reads:
<string name="paid_channel_subscribe_message">You can only subscribe to this paid channel on your computer.</string>
<string name="paid_channel_unsubscribe_message">You can only unsubscribe from this paid channel on your computer.</string>”
This code has surfaced only a month after rumours started circulating about YouTube offering channels the option to charge a fee for access. AdAge had revealed back then that YouTube was considering launching channels that would cost anywhere between $1 to $5 a month to show videos. Google’s video hosting platform was even contemplating to give these channels the option to add advertisements to the paid videos.
It's all about the money!
YouTube is already running a series of successful subscription-based channels that in all probability will form the backbone of the paid channel feature. When the new feature rolls out, it could be a combination of existing successful channels and newer ones.
This paid content platform could easily trump all other mediums to become an alternative to hosting and watching TV shows, live events and even concerts. As far as revenue generation goes, the idea is a hit even before it has taken off. YouTube is already the go-to website for all things video the world over and exclusive content promised via paid subscriptions will definitely find takers.
The initial report also mentioned that YouTube was already in talks with a small group of channel producers and asked them to submit applications to create channels that users would have to pay to access. Whether or not that has actually taken shape is yet to be seen, but something concrete has definitely come up in the Android app update.
A YouTube spokesperson, in a statement to CNET, did mention something was definitely coming. "We have nothing to announce at this time, but we're looking into creating a subscription service that could bring even more great content to YouTube for our users to enjoy and provide our creators with another vehicle to generate revenue from their content, beyond the rental and ad-supported models we offer," the spokesperson said.
The app update in question was rolled out last week. Besides a couple of new features, it brought along a fix to a niggly bug that did not allow users to view videos in full screen despite hitting the option.
Post the update, the YouTube app allows users to use their Google+ profiles on the platform, which is another step towards moving to Google accounts from YouTube accounts. For those who've paired the app with their TVs, the recent update allows users to manage TV playback right from the notification bar.