Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Youtube to Charge for Tv, Film Services

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Youtube to Charge for Tv, Film Services

Article excerpt

Google Inc.'s YouTube video site will begin selling subscriptions to film and TV services over the Internet, creating paid channels with more professional content to compete with Netflix Inc.

On-demand content from the initial 30 channels will vary from family friendly "Sesame Street" to "Ultimate Fighting Championship" martial arts bouts and cost about $2.99 a month each, YouTube said Thursday on a conference call.

Google is positioning YouTube as a host for other suppliers, avoiding the content spending of services like Netflix. The approach lets others take the risk of making content, while bolstering options for consumers who want to watch shows online. The channels also represent a step toward a la carte programming that traditional media players have resisted.

"This is really just the beginning," Malik Ducard, YouTube's director of content partnerships, said on the call.

The first 30 channels will be a pilot program, Mr. Ducard said. All of the companies will offer free 14-day trials and some will offer discounts for annual subscriptions. Suppliers can decide if they want to sell ads. Revenue from subscriptions will be split, with the programmers keeping the majority.

Google, based in Mountain View, Calif., has been stepping up efforts to boost YouTube's revenue beyond advertising. …

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