The Most Popular YouTube Creators Might Start Charging You To Watch

YouTube creators who have more than 10,000 subscribers can now create new, paid channels that charge viewers a monthly subscription fee.

The Most Popular YouTube Creators Might Start Charging You To Watch
[Image: Flickr user theanthonyryan]

YouTube is expanding a pilot program it began last May that allows select channels to start charging viewers a monthly subscription fee.

Starting today, any YouTube creators who currently offer free channels in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, or Spain with more than 10,000 subscribers is allowed to take advantage of YouTube’s paid channels feature. To clarify: The creators can’t turn any existing free channels onto a paid subscription model; they can only create new channels that they’ll charge viewers to access from the start.

YouTube currently hosts 71 paid channels. Subscriptions begin at $0.99 a month, but can run higher–The Asylum, of Sharknado fame, charges $2.99 a month; full episodes of “Sesame Street” run $3.99 a month. At that rate, it would be fairly easy to rack up a YouTube bill that costs more than a Netflix subscription. It’ll be interesting to see how many YouTube channels will take advantage of the paid channels option and, more importantly, how many subscribers will be willing to pay up.

About the author

Christina is an associate editor at Fast Company, where she writes about technology, social media, and business.