Google's YouTube division is close to launching as many as
50 subscription-based streaming video channels, with some running for as little
as $1.99 per month each, The
Financial Times reported.
YouTube was not immediately available for comment on the
long-rumored plan, but the paper said YouTube could announce its over-the-top Ã
la carte subscription service as early as this week, and come forth with a
revised model that will enable it to complement its current, ad-supported model
with a fresh revenue stream. The resulting service will also let channel
operators produce a range of content, including TV shows and movies, the
Financial Times added, citing a person familiar with the plan.
YouTube could generate $15 billion or more in annual revenue
over the next five years, putting it in the same league as CBS or Viacom,
Sanford Bernstein analyst Carlos Kirjner proclaimed in a research
note issued last week. YouTube, he noted, "is becoming an attractive
and important medium for brand advertisers," putting it in position to
fight "for the incremental video-delivered brand advertising dollars."