Don’t shoot the messenger. They announced it the other day on the official YouTube blog:
We’ve been building a YouTube partner program since 2007 that enables content creators to earn revenue for their creativity. We’ve watched them build amazing channels that have made YouTube into a news, education and entertainment destination 1 billion people around the world cannot do without.
Today, there are more than 1 million channels generating revenue on YouTube, and one of the most frequent requests we hear from these creators behind them is for more flexibility in monetizing and distributing content. We’ve been working on that and wanted to fill you in on what to expect.
Starting today, we’re launching a pilot program for a small group of partners that will offer paid channels on YouTube with subscription fees starting at $0.99 per month. Every channel has a 14-day free trial, and many offer discounted yearly rates. For example, Sesame Street will be offering full episodes on their paid channel when it launches. And UFC fans can see classic fights, like a full version of their first event from UFC’s new channel. You might run into more of these channels across YouTube, or look here for a list of pilot channels. 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.
The blog post also points out that “this is just the beginning.” YouTube will be rolling out more paid channels till, we dunno, maybe till the end of time. If you’re interested in learning more, you can direct your questions here.