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Google plots YouTube video subscriptions

Google is looking to launch subscription options for video site YouTube in a bid to boost revenues, the company has confirmed.

The news follows a Financial Times report, which claimed that the new pay options could roll out as early as this week and would allow viewers to pay from US$1.99 per month, per channel.

The FT story claims that the plan will apply to as many as 50 of YouTube’s specialist channels, and would enable the firms behind these to experiment with different content such as films and TV shows.

A YouTube spokesperson told TBI sister publication DTVE: “We have nothing to announce at this time, but we’re looking into creating a subscription platform that could bring even more great content to YouTube for our users to enjoy and provide our partners with another vehicle to generate revenue from their content, beyond the rental and ad-supported models we offer.”

The move follows YouTube’s original channels initiative, which it launched in the US in 2011 and rolled out in Europe last year. This saw YouTube invest in original content for the site, offering advances on ad-revenues for the professionally-produced videos.

Though advertising is YouTube’s primary source of revenue, the firm has also experimented with per-title film rentals on the site as well as ad-supported live-streamed content.