Report: Paid YouTube Subscriptions Incoming, Enables Creator Paywalls

paywall 04-11-15-1

Previously, we heard rumors of YouTube stepping their livestreaming game up a bit to make their already dominant video platform a new option for gaming livestreams.

Now, we’ve learned (via the Verge, Bloomberg) that YouTube is going to be empowering content creators on their service to lock their videos behind a paywall, in the next few months. The new paid subscription model will allow for ad-free browsing, as well as the ability to store videos offline on your mobile device.

Sources are reportedly quoted at saying the subscriptions will start at $10 a month. There are other reports of specific categories being lower in price, like music and children’s programming. This is a way for YouTube channels to make another source of income, although YouTube will still take a cut of their subscription money (like they do with advertising revenue).

The subscription money is pooled together, with partners getting 55% of the total amount. Each individual partners’ cut is going to be portioned to how much time viewers spend watching their channels – so this might not be good for smaller channels.

The most interesting tidbit coming from this report is that YouTube creators will be forced to participate in the program, otherwise all of their videos will be automatically set to private. This is probably going to make a lot of content creators unhappy, pending their interest in the program.

We’ll keep you guys posted.

Brandon Orselli


Owner and Publisher at Niche Gamer and Nicchiban. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. Pronouns: Patriarch, Guido, Olive.

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  1. Patrick Bateman
    Patrick Bateman
    April 11, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    You need a Niche Gamer Gold account to view this comment.

  2. Cy
    April 11, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    Hopefully this leads to some other video site closing the gap with YouTube, but I think there are a lot of people who wouldn’t have a problem paying.

  3. Dammage
    April 11, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    Wow fuck youtube, hope more creators just start making their own websites

  4. Mr0303
    April 11, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    It seems YouTube wants to directly monetize the videos by removing their dependence of advertisers. Or maybe this is a way to counter AdBlock users.

    This essentially turns all creators into employees producing content that can be streamed, similar to Netflix. That last part is pretty dickish and twists the hands of the makers.

  5. Anonymous
    April 11, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    We’re about to enter the age where youtube video piracy will be a real thing.

  6. Lucas Osse
    Lucas Osse
    April 11, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    Dammit, you beat me to it!

  7. Malcolm_Ecks
    April 11, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    Small channels are about to be fucked. This isn’t the best news. Seems most of the gaming stuff is going towards streaming though.

  8. Carl B.
    Carl B.
    April 11, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    I already do store videos offline on youtube. It’s called greasemonkey scripting. I download youtube videos as MP4s, and have been doing so for 5 years now.

  9. Raziel Barkrai
    Raziel Barkrai
    April 11, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    Why can’t this be optional? Not everyone on YouTube uploads videos to make money. Some people just do it for fun or as a hobby.

  10. TheCynicalReaper
    April 11, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    The more exclusive you make a platform, the more difficult it becomes
    The more difficult you make something, the more you’ll drive away to your competitor

    DailyMotion, Vimeo, Bing (now that it stopped being stupid), etc. all still exist.
    Unless Google set up with them an oligopoly to all do the same thing, they’ll end up killing YouTube.
    Nothing is too big to fail

  11. Pyrotek85
    April 11, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    What’s funny is I wouldn’t even be using adblock if they hadn’t gotten so obnoxious. I don’t mind them so much if it’s just a banner or something, but popup and autoplay have pissed me off one too many times.

  12. Mr0303
    April 11, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    This is why services like Netflix are killing the cable industry – all the content, none of the annoying commercials.

  13. Mr0303
    April 11, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    Plus there is a great add-on for Firefox called Download Helper that does the same.

  14. Mr0303
    April 11, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    I hope you are right, but they successfully pushed Google+ on people thanks to YouTube’s popularity.

  15. BeholdMyPower
    April 11, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    “The most interesting tidbit coming from this report is that YouTube
    creators will be forced to participate in the program, otherwise all of
    their videos will be automatically set to private.”

    Having a hard time believing this. Sounds utterly absurd and a great way to encourage people to move away from the platform.

  16. Neojames82
    April 11, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Well, that’s a sure fire way to start killing Youtube.

  17. OverlordZetta
    April 11, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    This will either kill YouTube or change the internet forever if it works out.

  18. MusouTensei
    April 11, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    I’m not paying a cent.

  19. Anonymous
    April 11, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    Yeah, downloading youtube is not new, their service will just make it easier and more accessible though. Also smartphone compatible.

  20. Grey
    April 11, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    This seems like a bad idea.

    Maybe they have a better plan in mind than has been released yet, but just on the basis of what has been reported so far I can’t imagine this being to most youtube users benefits. It seems almost intentionally designed to push smaller content creators out of youtube and onto competing services.

    Then again, maybe it was. For all I know, the cost of hosting videos for smaller, less popular content creators is vastly outweighing what they bring in with ad revenue. Maybe youtube can get by only and better on larger, more popular creators.

    But a life time of seeing corporations dick people over just so someone in a suit could buy a spare yacht has made me dubious about such things.

  21. Dewey Defeats Truman
    Dewey Defeats Truman
    April 11, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    Well youtube already tried to make the video makers abandon ship with content ID, I guess they figured they may as well do it with the video viewers as well.

  22. Guest
    April 12, 2015 at 12:18 am


  23. Alcatraz
    April 12, 2015 at 12:52 am

    If i had stock in google i would be bailing it out like none other after hearing this. This is gonna leave room for something like vessel to take the reigns. If amazon were to create an alternative in response to this you can bet that people will abandon youtube faster than a cheetah on steroids.

  24. Balrer
    April 12, 2015 at 1:09 am

    Perhaps, but nobody actually uses Google+. Most of the profiles I’ve seen are bare aside from the video section.

  25. Lucas Osse
    Lucas Osse
    April 12, 2015 at 2:09 am

    And that was reversed and no longer forced thanks to its massive backlash. Also very few people actually use it.

  26. Audie Bakerson
    Audie Bakerson
    April 12, 2015 at 3:11 am

    Short of HTML5 and 60 FPS, what change to Youtube has been anything BUT “a great way to encourage people to move away from the platform.”?

  27. Dimi Gronnings
    Dimi Gronnings
    April 12, 2015 at 5:44 am

    There are too many videos it doesn’t work on. I’ve switched to “savefrom.net helper”.

  28. Janol
    April 12, 2015 at 7:12 am

    AdBlock has already been doing that. They do all this because their ad revenue went down in half since last year.

    And no youtuber will paywall their main content. I imagine if they make use of this it will be things like twitch recordings or some unrelated non-content.

  29. chaoguy
    April 12, 2015 at 7:35 am

    Some content makers I watch have their own websites and video hosts. I try to go there whenever I can, rather than watch it on youtube.

  30. CirnoTheStrongest
    April 12, 2015 at 8:17 am

    Guess it’s time to say goodbye to youtube ._.

  31. Wonderkarp
    April 12, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Not only does this screw over existing content creators, but now its going to lock out NEW Content creators. How are you going to get people to pay a subscription to see you if you arent established already?

  32. Thanatos2k
    April 12, 2015 at 6:41 pm


  33. Hagane-Cosplay.tumblr.com
    April 13, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    I get what you mean, though it’s 50/50 for me.

    As a viewer, I’ve gradually got the feeling that YouTube’s current model has caused it to stagnate a bit – basically I think content creators have hit the limit of what the they can accomplish if you want to make YouTube your full-time job, and still make a living wave.

    I have nothing against paying for stuff (I mean I have a Netflix sub) if it allows for new, higher quality, higher budget programming from independent film-makers and commentators. That being said, I won’t be paying for the kind of stuff which is currently free.

  34. Hagane-Cosplay.tumblr.com
    April 13, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    It will certainly damage YouTube’s popularity. That being said, hasn’t YouTube always been a loss-making business? I’m sure I read a while back that they’ve made very little over the years, and it kept running in the belief that it’d eventually make money if it became big enough.

    Evidently they’ve decided now’s the time to make that gamble.

    I wonder if Vimeo will make a push for a bigger audience?

  35. Alcatraz
    April 14, 2015 at 12:00 am

    It seems a bit strange for YouTube, the site that is the 3rd
    most visited on the internet can manage to lose money. Not to mention the fact that they are owned by google the advertising mecha and most visited site on the internet.
    It brings in enough cash to payout multimillion dollar salaries I
    cannot fathom how this scheme will bring in more money for the business.

  36. Hagane-Cosplay.tumblr.com
    April 14, 2015 at 3:39 am

    Well, think when you personally have used YouTube.

    The last time you visited, did the ads you were shown pay for the hosting of the videos you watched?

    Of course, there’s no way to know, but if the answer’s “no”, it doesn’t matter how popular the site is. If everyone visiting costs Youtube 0.01c then they make a loss, even if a billion people visit.

    Certainly, if you were using AdBlock, then you definitely cost YouTube a fractional amount of money; you used their service and didn’t “pay” them with an advertising impression. Again, it might have only been 0.0000001c but it’s like you said – they’re one of the world’s most popular sites.

  37. Alcatraz
    April 14, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    According to NY times “On YouTube, the average rate for pre-roll ads, those 30-second commercials that you must watch before seeing a video, is $7.60 per 1,000 ad views, down from $9.35 in 2012, according to TubeMogul, a video ad-buying software company. The same pre-roll ad on a broadcaster’s site, like that of CBS or CNN, would cost more than $20 per 1,000 views.”

    With that it would work out that the content creator would get 0.5 X $7.60 X 55% = $2.09 per 1000 views at least by 2013 standards, not sure what it is currently. And that is just with pre-roll ads. It looks like it just comes down to a hot mess by the end of it. Creators would have to average at least 5,000 paid views in order to afford the monthly subscription fee.

  38. Hagane-Cosplay.tumblr.com
    April 15, 2015 at 6:00 am

    So even as a rough idea, that suggests YouTube makes about 0.007c per advert impression, right?

    That’s kinda what I mean. If you divide YouTube’s hosting costs per month by the number of total video views per month, is it more than 0.007c? If it’s more, they lose money, if it’s less, they make money.

    Good job on those stats though – it’s really interesting to see figures for this stuff.

  39. Chase Middleton
    Chase Middleton
    April 15, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    Uh, no. Fuck this. If a YT channel I watch starts locking videos behind a pay wall, Unsubbed. I don’t care if I end up abandoning the site.