In Social Media

YouTube has launched its paid channel pilot programme.

The move has been rumoured for a long time. Late last week it emerged that Google was preparing to announce details.

During the trial, a small number of content makers will be able to charge for subscription. According to YouTube, they will start at $0.99 (£0.64) a month.

Each channel will offer a free 14-day trial. There is also the option for content makers to offer a discount for annual subscriptions.

The pilot programme has a choice of 53 channels. They include big names like Sesame Street and National Geographic Kids, as well as a number of smaller specialist content makers.

Subscribers can pay for access using either a credit card or Google’s Wallet service.

“This is just the beginning,” said YouTube on its blog. “We’ll be rolling paid channels out more broadly in the coming weeks as a self-service feature for qualifying partners.

“And as new channels appear, we’ll be making sure you can discover them.”

Analysts have said that the move could hurt smaller content start up.

“The YouTube move will make it much harder for smaller, standalone online subscription-based platform because Google has the infrastructure to make it easy for content to be hosted, delivered and billed for,” Ian Maude, an online media expert at Enders Analysis told the BBC.

“But it was always inevitable that Google was going to do this.”

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