Few sites contributed to the rise of social media like YouTube, but to participate in the future of digital content, vloggers and viewers might have to dig some spare change out of their wallets.
According to anonymous sources who spoke to Re/code, YouTube is mulling the addition of a paywall for some of its new exclusive video programming to be released at an Oct. 21 event in Los Angeles. While the core features of YouTube that many users are familiar with won’t see any appreciable changes, the average YouTuber will have to pay for access to the new programming created by some of the site’s most influential personas that the company is funding itself, a la Netflix and Amazon’s actions in recent years.
Fast Company reported that, while the news of a YouTube paywall might seem out of the blue, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said in 2014 that her company had been looking at funding and monetizing new content for quite some time.
“We have all these pretty nascent creators,” Wojcicki said. “What do they look like in five years? Do they have longer shows? Can we help them economically to grow their shows? I don’t think we need new creators. All that content is original content, but how do we make it even better?”
While YouTube is expected to announce further details about their new, exclusive content at this week’s event, users likely won’t be able to consume it until 2016 at the earliest, Re/code reported. The paywall, though, could be instituted within the month, according to FC. YouTube’s regular ad-supported content isn’t expected to be affected by the changes, though any content creator who collects money from advertisements under the proposed system would be required to list their videos outside of the paywall when it’s instituted.
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