Seriously? YouTube Is Charging $6.99 for Certain Channels (Per Month)…

Would you pay these amounts for a channel of content, music or otherwise?  Especially on a network synonymous with free?

Let’s see: as expected, YouTube has just launched its first slate of paid channels, with pricing averaging around $2.99 per month, per channel.  Then again, this pricing is all over the place, with low-ballers charging 99-cents per month, and others demanding as much as $6.99.

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In total, there are 53 channels now courting for cash, with very limited music content (for now).  This resembles the upper hundred-something channels on a traditional cable menu, with even greater niches in many cases.  ‘Rap Battle Network,’ for example, is a hyper-focused music channel, with others including Spanish-language HombrePix and FemiPix, PGA Digital Golf Network, Recipe.TV,, and Baby First PLUS.

The full spread of channels is here.

And, unlike your friendly cable provider, you can definitely cherry-pick these channels, with some bundling also available.  Rap Battle Network, for example, can only be purchased alone for $2.99 a month (or $24.99 a year).  The SmartTV bundle, on the other hand, lumps 7 channels for $9.99 a month, and could be a preview of further bundling approaches ahead.

And why the distinctly non-uniform pricing?  This could easily be dismissed as just another scattershot, unfocused Google launch, with content owners setting prices in a chaotic mix.  Or, an intentionally wide spread designed to collect the most usability data.

All of which brings us to YouTube Music, the working title for an expected jab into subscription-based music content.  At this point, YouTube hasn’t disclosed any pricing plans (or broader plans, for that matter) on YouTube Music.  But the success or failure of this experiment will undoubtedly inform things to come.

12 Responses

  1. and they still only pay you fr

    …or, i could just pay for a cable tv subscription and get 400 channels instead of just three ‘channels’ of YouTube..

    • Random

      The headline and the article miss the point. YouTube isnt controlling the pricing. Channels specifically control their own pricing!

      • Vail, CO

        Sort of.
        YT has a limited launch with limited channels and could easily set pricing a la iTunes.
        A question for the masses: didn’t this already fail once before?

  2. Lie Witness Blues

    So what does this tell us about music hmmm…?

  3. Casey

    This is going to fail, just like their last attempts.

  4. Dive Clavis

    Because what I really need is a place to over-pay for useless content?

  5. Abe

    I honestly think this is a great opportunity. Independent production houses will be inspired to make great content and invest more into the quality of work. All we need is a couple relatively unknown channels to really make a killing with YouTube’s subscription model and major production houses will follow suit. Imagine a world where you pay for the live and on-demand channels that you actually watch rather than paying for hundreds of channels that you never do.

  6. Yves Villeneuve

    How many Youtube channels exist that are free? Multi-millions?
    Anyhow, I don’t expect YouTube to offer music similar to Rhapsody’s service. As someone else said, YouTube is all video. Much cheaper to stream an audio than a montage video of the same song. Google tends to spend a lot on expensive innovation of suspect practicality, in my opinion.

    • leeches and parasites

      …Meanwhile, pirated versions of paid channels appear on youtube in the thousands.

  7. Heather M.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think this is going to work – too many other options for viewing other/related content. They would be better served by building out their advertising functions (always thougth the idea of “skipping” commercials was a bit counterproductive). A nominally priced bundling or subsciption for different types of premium content may work but now what they are suggesting now….This smacks of another “Netflix” style snafu.

  8. Jeff Robinson

    Don’t stop at charging for channels on youtube.

    Start charging for websites. How many do YOU view each day? ala carte, problem solved for paying royalties to scale in the music industry. Take a percentage for each website viewed and pay the content creators that make the internet a lively place.

    $.12 if you read this please. Make the check out to…

    • Bald Headed John

      Many sites already do. Porn for example.
      They tease with the free stuff then charge for the good stuff.
      Unfortunately for youtube it doesn’t look like they have any good stuff behind the paywall