I’ve been hearing the most ludicrous rumors concerning YouTube.
Apparently, someone at Google thinks it would be a good idea to start charging folks to watch certain channels.
For a small fee, say $5, users would have access to “premium” content on YouTube.
So the site that has millions of free user-generated videos is now going to switch to a pay model?
You know I’m not trying to pay for YouTube.
Or any other social media service for that matter.
And it’s not like it’s Netflix (for which I have a subscription).
Where you can dial up the movie you want to watch.
And they’re movies – not videos.
But maybe that’s where they’re going next.
YouTube aspires to be the Netflix of videos?
But which videos?
Are labels going to start charging you to watch the music videos of their artists?
Maybe I’m dense, but I can’t think of any scenario where folks would be willing to come off that cash for some video (when that same content was formerly free).
Sure, the freemium model dictates that you give something of value away initially to induce a later spend.
But YouTube has been free since the word go.
They blew past that incentive point – where if they flipped to a paid model folks would be willing to pay – a while ago.
Now it just looks like they’re trying to make money by any means necessary.
Or maybe they’re trying to provide incentives to content creators to partner with Google.
If you recall, a few years ago, Google flirted with this subscription video model.
They offered content creators the opportunity to set up premium channels, where they could charge users to watch their videos.
Needless to say, the idea didn’t take.
Why they’re resuscitation this obviously flawed strategy again now is beyond me.
Maybe they’re just gluttons for punishment.
Maybe it’s the 800 million YouTube searches that are performed daily.
Or the 4 billion hours that folks watch each month.
Maybe they’re trying to offer an alternative to the current ad-supported model.
Whatever the motivation, we’ll have to wait and see how folks respond.
Google hasn’t indicated when the first of the paid videos or channels will be available.
In fact, no one is quite sure of the exact pricing mechanism they intend to employ.
But I can tell you this: I won’t be paying a damn thing!
Who knows, maybe the second time’s a charm.