YouTube may soon begin charging a subscription fee for some of its video content-- a move that Google's Salar Kamangar, senior vice president, YouTube and Video, says could pave the way for cable TV programmers to move ouside of the traditional “bundles” that cable network providers package them in.
Speaking at the Reuters Media and Technology Summit on Thursday, Kamangar asserted that programmers with smaller audiences would soon migrate to the Web and become available to those audiences “a la carte.”
He pointed out that most of these programmers receive almost nothing in carriage fees from cable providers, and would become a likely target for YouTube should the Google-owned video-sharing site begin offering subscriptions.
Certain original content channels featured on the recently launched "YouTube Channels” would also be considered for subscriptions, Kamangar said.
"We don't have anything to announce now,” he said. “It is something that's really important to a lot of our top existing content creators as well as ones that aren't on YouTube today, so we're taking it very seriously and we're thinking about it very carefully."
YouTube, which streams more than 4 billion videos per day, currently only makes money by selling advertising. Google has not disclosed YouTube’s financials, but analysts have estimated its value at around $20 billion, based on revenues alone.