The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller
              FILE - This file image of a screen grab provided by Google Inc. on  Dec. 1, 2011 shows the YouTube website. A new study finds that YouTube is emerging as a major platform for news, one to which viewers increasingly turn for eyewitness videos in times of major events and natural disasters. (AP Photo/Google Inc., File)

YouTube to start charging viewers subscription fee

YouTube, owned by Google, is reportedly introducing a paid subscription service for up to 50 of its specialty channels later this week.

The video site is currently free, with advertisements. However, paying for a subscription may remove the ads, reports the Daily Mail.

While YouTube has not confirmed it, a spokesperson for Google said, “We’re looking into creating a subscription platform that could bring even more great content to YouTube for our users to enjoy and provide our creators with another vehicle to generate revenue from their content, beyond the rental and ad-supported models we offer.”

YouTube started hosting channels in October 2012 that feature specialized content from outlets like The Onion or BBC. There also is grouped content like web-only short episodes of cooking shows. The content producers currently get 55 percent of revenue from advertising while YouTube receives 45 percent. The subscription revenue is expected to be split in the same proportions.

The Google spokesperson suggested that the content creators were the ones requesting a trial of a paid subscription service. “We have long maintained that different content requires different types of payment models,” he said.

YouTube has around a billion users that view approximately six billion hours of videos a month.

Follow Sarah on Twitter