YouTube would like, very much, to be where television goes next once the decaying cable and broadcast apparatus currently wasting valuable spectrum on Whitney realizes they can make more money selling wireless broadband across a sixty mile area.
So much so that they’re expecting people, on the Internet, to give money to YouTube. Before you start laughing, keep reading: This might actually work.
Needless to say, stupid cat videos would still be free, but some of the higher end stuff might be a little less so:
YouTube has reached out to a small group of channel producers and asked them to submit applications to create channels that users would have to pay to access. As of now it appears that the first paid channels will cost somewhere between $1 and $5 a month, two of these people said. In addition to episodic content, YouTube is also considering charging for content libraries and access to live events, a la pay-per-view, as well as self-help or financial advice shows.
That amount on there is pretty important, because YouTube’s plan is to lure smaller cable networks away from, well, cable. And for the smaller networks, it makes sense: Most networks that aren’t sports networks charge a buck a subscriber, if that. Why not just cut out the middleman, tell your fan base that you’re going on YouTube, and consolidate all your content online for a higher rate? Especially when the new middleman will take less of a cut, probably still let you sell advertising, and is currently also the owner of one of the most popular pieces of software on the entire planet?
This would also be, er, let’s see here, the arrival of ala carte cable channel choice that we’ve been waiting for since what seems like the beginning of time.
We’re sure that this will be greeted with an intelligent and mature reaction by the cable networks. Absolutely.