[Update 2/25/13 9:19 a.m. PST] A YouTube spokesperson has responded with the following statement:
“We have nothing to announce at this time, but are 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.”
According to an AdAge article released last month, YouTube is moving closer to having paid subscriptions as part of their pay-to-view service.
Well, it looks like that time may be coming relatively soon. Yesterday, an article on the Wall Street Journal suggested that Google is currently in talks with major record labels to start their own music-streaming service that would rival Spotify. The article also notes that in a separate deal, YouTube “is trying to obtain licenses from music labels to start a paid subscription service for music videos and potentially also for audio-only songs”.
But thats not all: Today Android Police reported that the latest version of the YouTube application for Android includes two lines of code that basically confirms YouTube’s move to content only accessible via paid subscription:
<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>
Back in the end of January, a YouTube spokesman released a statement saying:
“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.”
At this point, it is not clear what kind of content Google is planning on making into pay-to-view channels. We’ve reached out to YouTube for comment and will update you as this story develops. Until then, comment below for your thoughts!