YouTube on Thursday detailed its plan to let producers sell paid subscriptions to their videos, creating a prominent new marketplace for programming on the Internet.
The sprawling video website, a unit of Google, said the first paid video channels were to come online Thursday, with subscription rates ranging from 99 cents to $7.99 a month. The early participants include Sesame Workshop, the producer of “Sesame Street,” which will stream full episodes of the children’s show to paying subscribers; Ultimate Fighting Championship, the mixed martial arts league, which will stream classic fights to fans; and “The Young Turks,” a progressive talk show.
YouTube identified about 30 of these partners on Thursday and said other video makers would soon be able to set up their own paid channels, using YouTube’s infrastructure. In a conference call for reporters, Malik Ducard, the director of content partnerships for YouTube, suggested that this “self-service feature” was the most important piece of the announcement.
“As we roll out wider and as we roll out self-serve, you’ll see a lot of innovation,” he said, predicting that homegrown YouTube stars with fan followings would choose to set up paid channels.