A pay-wall on YouTube? That might sound blasphemous but it's close to coming true. The Financial Times reports that YouTube is close to announcing a new subscription model “that will apply to as many as 50 [specialist] YouTube channels.
These "specialist" channels are unlikely to include your random middle school friend's surprisingly useful make-up tutorials or videos teaching you to twerk. This is a way for the media and entertainment industry to open up yet another revenue channel for original programming.
This was inevitable. All cable and satellite networks now feature full episodes of their programming online as a response to users uploading episodes and clips to YouTube. Netflix has also been a prominent player, which has just entered into original programming with House of Cards and the soon-to-be-launched fourth season of Arrested Development.
So the question remains, would you pay for YouTube?
Here are some of the most popular YouTube channels that showcase original programming, by individuals and cable/network companies, which could see a pay-wall going up mighty soon:
1. Smosh.com — most subscribed YouTube channel with 9.6 million users and over 2 billion views
2. The Ellen Show
3. Jenna Marbles
4. The Lonely Island