Monetizing the huge amount of traffic going to YouTube is a key initiative for Google. Earlier in the year, we reported details on a paid, ad-free subscription service that Google was planning for YouTube, and now we're getting more details on what kinds of content will be available. A new report from Bloomberg today claims that 90 percent of the content that makes up YouTube watch time has signed on for this premium service — but it sounds like the company isn't working out deals with more mainstream content providers, like the big TV networks.
Bloomberg says that networks like Fox, CBS, and NBC have not signed up for the program, leaving YouTube's subscription offering as something that resembles its current content mix, just without ads. That could certainly be compelling for a lot of YouTube viewers, presuming the price is right. We learned that the service would be about $10 a month; that would include no ads and offline playback — much like the company's current YouTube Music Key offering, which focuses on music videos. Additionally, it sounds like Google will jump further into the rapidly-expanding original content arena, putting itself up against offerings from Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu (among others).
It's not surprising that Google has signed up the majority of those content producers making the videos that populate YouTube — as we learned earlier, YouTube's creators are required to participate in the subscription offering or have their videos set to private. Whether this new subscription model will be as profitable for massively popular creators like PewDiePie as the current, ad-supported model remains to be seen.