YouTube is large enough that it harbors a huge ecosystem of video makers. Big money is being made and a rather impressive number of people make a living off of YouTube videos.
Yet all of that comes from ad revenue. YouTube has been working on getting more people to watch the ads, getting advertisers to pay more and getting more and more relevant show next to more videos.
That's all well and good and it has resulted in a significant ad revenue boost for YouTube and video makers relying on it.
But it seems that for some that's not enough, and, finally, YouTube is listening.
The rumor is that the site will start allowing video makers to restrict access to some of their videos and ask viewers to pay for subscriptions.
According to AdAge, YouTube is testing the system with a small number of video makers. For now, it seems that YouTube is looking at monthly subscriptions at around $1, €0.74 to $5, €3.69 for new premium channels.
That's just for starters, YouTube could expand this to pay-per-view for live events, such as concerts or conferences and to à la carte payments for stuff such as self-help or instructional videos.
YouTube hasn't made it a secret that it is at least thinking about paid videos. It is possible that the new paid channels and videos be launched as early as the second quarter of this year.
For now, Google and YouTube are staying quiet about this, though it's not excluding the possibility of paid videos.
"We have long maintained that different content requires different types of payment models," Google told AdAge.
"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."