Eager to define itself as a major entertainment player, YouTube is exploring charging subscriptions for cable content, the company’s chief said on Thursday.
Google, which has already pledged $100 million to create a slew of premium video channels on YouTube is exploring the idea of charging subsciptions for cable network providers that are looking for syndication outside of traditional cable service operators.
Salar Kamangar, Google svp of YouTube and video, told Reuters that YouTube could be a venue for cable networks with small audiences that want to offer their content on an a la carte basis. “We don’t have anything to announce now. It is something that’s really important to a lot of our top existing content creators as well as ones that aren’t on YouTube today, so we’re taking very seriously and we’re thinking about it very carefully,” said Kamangar.
Kamagar’s comments, delivered during a Reuters event on Thursday, coincided with a new Department of Justice probe into cable firms’ policy of imposing Internet data limits on consumers, according to a report in The Washington Post. The DOJ is trying to determine whether the cable firms are hampering competition for online-based video
YouTube’s exploration of redistributing cable content also follows an ambitious $100 million program launched last fall to create its own star-studded premium channels. In May, Google pledged it would spend another $200 million to market those channels, which do not require a subscription.
Todd Wasserman, Mashable’s business editor, has been writing professionally for close to 20 years.