YouTube is considering introducing a subscription model to allow access to certain films and popular TV shows.
According to senior Google executive, the company is looking at the model to attract more premium content.
David Eun, Google’s vice-president of content partnership, told Reuters, "We're making some interesting bets on long-form content; not all content is accessible to us with the advertising model.” He added that content partners would be able to choose what worked best for them.
YouTube has recently signed long-form content deals with Channel 4 and Five, and is in the process of repositioning itself as the home of quality long-form content online. It has also just launched its first traditional press and outdoor advertising campaign in the UK to promote its recently acquired full length content – with the slogan: “YouTube’s got TV”.
However, a move towards subscriptions could provide enough compensation to those rights holders and broadcasters resistant to making their content available for free, funded by advertising, and persuade them to sign deals with YouTube.
Patrick Walker, YouTube's director of partnership said: “Our focus is very much on satisfying user queries, bringing them access to content of any type that they're interested in. We recognise that certain types of content are only available in certain windows, depending on what the rights are.
We've had a lot of conversations, people have come to us and asked us if we can help them to distribute content that is not currently in an ad supported window. We're considering that, it's something we're looking at. We are, at core though, a free ad-supported platform, but we are always open to dialogue so we can help support better revenue generation, better discoverability and content consumption.”