YouTube, looking to move into another digital video deal --- one that may not count on advertising -- is mulling a paid subscription service with around 25 channels that would cost $1 to $5 a month.
Given the problems many digital video platforms have had in monetizing their services, the fact that the biggest video service is looking to explore another phase is interesting if not confusing.
Seems YouTube’s new platform wouldn't be a Netflix or a Hulu Plus -- not at a consumer price that’s about half of other premium digital video services.
This seems like a fuzzy plan. Part of the reason might be that program providers would seemingly have the option of providing videos with or without advertising.
YouTube seem to be trying to figure out the value of existing customers wedded to its current roster of branded channels. Cable network reality show reruns, trailers and unusual documentaries might be the usual fare here -- not "Modern Family."
Twenty five channels a month for two bucks seems an attempt to carve out the tiniest of slices versus multi-channel program distributors -- cable, satellite, or telco. The effort doesn't seem likely to set the world on fire but perhaps --- in the near term -- to give consumers converted to over- the-top (OTT) and other newly disaffected viewers some calm in their big decision to cut the cord with major TV distributors.
For sure, YouTube's effort does want to get into the paid digital video world. Right now most of this is locked up around Netflix and HuluPlus because consumers have a clear vision of what those services do -- providing premium TV shows and movies.
Right now the quick brand impact of YouTube-branded channels for average consumers would need some of YouTube's -- or parent company Google's -- special bells and whistles to make the sale.