YouTube Considers Paid, Ad-Free Subscriptions For Viewers

YouTube, the video sharing platform owned by Google Inc, is working on premium version of YouTube, which would allow users to watch ad-free content.

Internationally, digital companies like Spotify and Soundcloud are already using this model, but for YouTube, it is a radical change from the ad-funded and free-to-view model it had since its inception.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki who took over the company earlier this year said that they were considering this subscription model because it gives users a “choice”. “There are going to be cases where people are going to say ‘I don’t want to see the ads or I want to have a different kind of experience’”, she told a crowd at a Tech Conference in California.

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It has still not been confirmed how much Google will charge for an ad-free service or exactly when it is going to launch. The free-to-use, ad-funded service will work alongside the new subscription version.

In May 2013, YouTube launched an initiative for individual content creators to launch “channels” with subscription. The initiative got off to a slow start but then gained traction as Google expanded the scheme.

“We’re early in that process. But if you look at media over time, most of them have both ads and subscription,” she said.