Tech Check: YouTube to charge viewers?

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by Doug Delony / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on February 26, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 26 at 3:23 PM

HOUSTON -- There’s a lot of talk on the Web about possible changes coming to YouTube.  The video website may soon ask you to pay to watch certain videos.

This is especially relevant to people who have “cut the  cord” and left cable or satellite television behind.

Sometime this spring YouTube is expected to launch a subscription plan, ranging from $1 to $5 per month. But Google, YouTube’s owner, hasn’t formally announced this plan yet.

Over the weekend, someone discovered new coding in YouTube’s mobile app. It has the phrase “you can only subscribe to this paid channel on your computer.” The key word: “paid.”

This comes as no surprise as YouTube has hinted at something like this in the past – it just depends on what kind of content you want to view. The good news is, if it’s videos uploaded by your friends or just your typical videos from strangers that have gone viral, those most likely will still be free to view.

Instead, YouTube will probably charge for original programming -- from comedies to dramas or channels that feature financial self help videos. There could also be live events like concerts and sports.

It’s a move that really makes YouTube a competitor to cable and satellite TV -- and perhaps even Hulu or Netflix.

Who knows, maybe one day YouTube will buy the rights to NBA programming, and we’ll be able to watch the Rockets in Houston again? Likely not anytime soon.

Questions? Comments? Feel free to reach out to Doug on Facebook (facebook.com/KHOUDougDelony) or Twitter (@DougDelonyKHOU)

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