YouTube may add paid-for TV shows and films

The Google-owned video site is looking at subscriptions to view full-length TV shows and movies as an alternative revenue stream
Written by Matthew Broersma, Contributor

YouTube is reportedly considering introducing paid subscriptions to view movies and TV shows, as a way to attract premium content to the site.

The subscriptions or rental-style arrangements might suit previously reluctant providers of full-length content, according to a Reuters interview with David Eun, Google's vice president of content partnerships, published on Tuesday.

"Not all content is accessible to us with the advertising model," Eun told Reuters.

The Google-owned video site currently makes its revenues from advertising and mainly offers short clips.

In October, YouTube struck a deal with Channel 4 to offer shows such as Skins, Hollyoaks and Peep Show on the site shortly after they air, with Channel 4 maintaining the right to sell advertising around the content.

Broadcaster Five signed a similar deal with YouTube in December, and the site also licenses short-form content from partners including CNN and TNT, ESPN and ABC.

Payment models under consideration include monthly subscriptions or a one-off "rental" model, according to Eun.

He said YouTube's business model would continue to be based primarily on advertising revenues. "If we just continued to focus on our advertising model, that would be enough opportunity to create meaningful revenue," he told Reuters.

In July, Google said YouTube revenues were increasing steadily and that the site was moving towards profitability in the near future.

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