Docs

YouTube launches paid channel pilot program

Among the channels to be part of the paid subscription model, Docurama will offer up doc fare, while Qello will feature music docs and Primezone Sports will feature reality and lifestyle content with a sports edge.
May 9, 2013

As anticipated, YouTube has launched its pilot paid subscription program with a slate of 30 channels currently available, and more to come, including assorted documentary and unscripted-oriented destinations.

Among the channels to be part of the paid subscription model, Docurama will offer up documentary fare, while Qello will feature music docs and Deion Sanders Presents Primezone Sports will feature reality and lifestyle content with a sports edge.

In a blog post, YouTube announced the beginning of the initiative, revealing that subscription fees for some channels will start at 99 cents a month.

While all channels will offer a 14-day free trial, prices vary per month. Docurama, for example, goes for a monthly fee of $2.99, while Qello has a $4.99 monthly charge.

Meanwhile, as part of its content offering, the Guys Night In channel from HD Net will feature “reality programs that will fulfill fantasies” in addition to other male-oriented fare, for $1.99.

Channels in other genres run the gamut from Acorn TV, featuring “the best British TV,” to kids channels such as National Geographic Kids and DHX Kids TV. The full list of channels slated thus far for the program can be found here, but out of the 53 listed, only 30 appear to be currently available for subscription.

The content will initially be launched in 10 markets, including the U.S., UK, and Canada.

According to the blog post, “Once you subscribe from a computer, you’ll be able to watch paid channels on your computer, phone, tablet and TV, and soon you’ll be able to subscribe to them from more devices.” Customers will be able to pay either with credit card or the Google Wallet digital payment service.

More paid channels will be introduced “more broadly in the coming weeks as a self-service feature for qualifying partners,” according to YouTube.

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