YouTube Turns 8

Keyboard Cat Social Media for Businesses

YouTube has been the goto source for videos for pretty much everyone on the planet these past few years. It’s simple, functional, open to the public, and free. What more could you ask for? This week, the social video network is turning eight years old, and they’re introducing an interesting new mechanic that could change how they operate moving forward. It’s going to affect social media for businesses for sure, and you should do your best to get out ahead of it.

YouTube is launching a pilot program where people can offer a paid channel. It’s been expected that this would happen for awhile, and now it’s becoming a reality. With 1 billion monthly views total, it’s not surprising that some channel owners are receiving millions of views want to start being compensated beyond what a simple commercial can offer. To start,  every channel that opts-in will offer a 14-day free trial, and they switch to a fee starting at $0.99 a month.

Certain channels that have success elsewhere will charge more. For instance, the UFC channel will be offering ad-free content for $2.99 a month, a bargain considering the price of many of their fights on pay-per-view.

“This is just the beginning. We’ll be rolling paid channels out more broadly in the coming weeks as a self-service feature for qualifying partners,” according to the Official YouTube Blog . “And as new channels appear, we’ll be making sure you can discover them, just as we’ve been helping you find and subscribe to all the channels you love across YouTube. Just as the partner program empowered creators to take their channels to the next level, we look forward to seeing how this great community of creators moves ahead with a new way to reach the fan communities that made their channels a hit. You’ll be hearing more from us, and them, as we get creator and user feedback and build out this exciting offering.”

If you currently have a popular YouTube channel, you may want to think about polishing it up and switching to a monthly fee. Don’t just jump into it without considering how many subscriptions you’ll really get though, it’d be a shame to drive away your existing audience.

Now, in honor of YouTube’s eighth birthday, here are some of the Wikimotive staff-favorite YouTube Videos:

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