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Google announced on Thursday the launch of a pilot program designed to offer paid channels on YouTube with subscription fees starting at $0.99 per month. The program kicked off with a small group of partners including the producers of Sesame Street, Big Star Movies, DHX Kids TV, National Geographic Kids, Primezone Sports, and TYTPlus.

According to Google, there are over 1 million channels generating quality professional content and revenue on YouTube, making paid channels a  natural way for content producers to increase their revenue beyond advertising sponsorship.

The paid channels work similarly to any online subscription service. Each channel offers a 14-day free trial, with a credit card needed to access it. After the free trial ends, your credit card will be charged every month until you cancel the subscription. You can cancel at anytime, but there are no refunds or credits for a partial billing period.

Paid subscriptions might include full episodes of channel programs, or extra premium content. After subscribing to a channel (which for now must be done through your computer), you can also watch paid content on YouTube supported mobile devices, and on your TV.

There are currently 53 YouTube channels participating in the paid launch program, which range across various categories including Music, Comedy, film & Entertainment. Subscriptions range from $0.99 per month to $6.99 per month, with a discount available for yearly subscriptions. Note that paid YouTube channels are not available worldwide, so head over to YouTube’s paid-channel section to check what’s available to you.

Google promises more channels will be added in the coming weeks as a self-service feature for qualifying partners. If you’re a content creator and are interested in starting a paid channel, you can apply here.

Will you pay a subscription fee to watch YouTube videos?

Source: YouTube Blog

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