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YouTube mulling over a new revenue option for partners

October 10, 2012|By Dawn C. Chmielewski
  • YouTube's content chief Robert Kyncl talked about allowing partners to charge for subscriptions to their channels in remarks made at an Abu Dhabi.
YouTube's content chief Robert Kyncl talked about allowing partners… (Christina House / For The…)

This post has been corrected. See details below:

YouTube is looking increasingly like TV, as it attracts such top-flight talent as Amy Poehler and Rainn Wilson to create original programming for the site.

The Google Inc. site's decision last fall to finance 100 new channels in the U.S. is gaining traction, with the top 25 of these averaging more than 1 million views a week. That set the stage for YouTube to finance a new generation of original channels coming from Europe.

"All of this momentum would not be possible without revenue," said Robert Kyncl, YouTube's global head of content, in remarks Wednesday at a media summit in Abu Dhabi.

Kyncl said YouTube takes a different approach to ads: It allows viewers to skip those that they dislike. Advertisers only pay for the ads that have been watched.

"So is it working?" Kyncl asked rhetorically during hs keynote speech. "When we looked at our skippable ads in the U.S., we are now making as much revenue per hour as ads on cable TV."

Kyncl said YouTube is mulling over a new source of revenue for its partners -- allowing them to charge for subscriptions to their channels. His comments echo those made earlier this year by YouTube CEO Salar Kamangar at a conference in Dana Point.

The timing of such a move is unclear, although YouTube long has allowed content creators to charge a fee for their videos, if they choose.

YouTube instituted a pay model years ago, when it began offering streaming rentals of movies screened at the Sundance Film Festival. The site now sells and rents movies from all the major Hollywood studios. The movies licensed for YouTube are also available through Google Play, the retail store that sells entertainment content for Android phones and tablets.

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[For the record: The original post misspelled YouTube CEO Salar Kamangar's name.]

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