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Would You Pay For YouTube Videos?

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the i-would-pay-to-unsee-youtube-comments dept.

Media 475

secmartin writes "A couple of weeks ago, Google's CEO mentioned to investors that they might start charging YouTube's users for viewing content: 'With respect to how it will get monetized, our first priority, as you pointed out, is on the advertising side. We do expect over time to see micro payments and other forms of subscription models coming as well. But our initial focus is on advertising. We will be announcing additional things in that area literally very, very soon.' With the recent Disney-Hulu deal, Google is under increasing pressure to generate more revenue and at the same time attract more premium content. That means we might see payment options coming even sooner than expected, with control over the pricing models being handed over to the studios providing that content, like the way Apple caved in over variable pricing on iTunes. This raises an important question: would you actually pay for premium content on YouTube and other sites, or will this draw viewers away to other video sites?"

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No (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27805983)


Re:No (3, Insightful)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806341)

I can't help but agree that I wouldn't pay for YouTube access. It's not THAT good or cool to validate it.


Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27805985)

Reforge the Fourth International, world party of socialist revolution! Defeat U.S. imperialist war by mobilizing workers power! Forge a revolutionary workers party with the program of Lenin and Trotsky!

ahhahahhaa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27805989)


Only if there were (-1)

arminw (717974) | more than 5 years ago | (#27805993)

no place else that had free video.

Re:Only if there were (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27806039)

Starting your post in the subject line is irritating to many readers. Congratulations!

asdfghadsg (0, Flamebait)

coryking (104614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806291)

then what the hell is the point of the subject line in the first place? Seems to me the problem isn't the parent, it is a flaw in the comment system. Really, what function does the subject serve?

Ongoing debate about Netiquette and Subject lines (5, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806345)

The purpose of the "subject" is self-explanatory. It briefly describes what the post is about, so people can skim the subject lines without reading the whole post. It is not for posting the first half of a sentence (poor netiquette).

Re:Ongoing debate about Netiquette and Subject lin (0)

Sigismundo (192183) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806453)

That's true, but it's often the case that the subject is already obvious, especially in the middle of a thread (not the case here). I think starting a sentence in the subject line can be an effective rhetorical technique. It can definitely be overused though.

Clearly it exists (4, Funny)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806367)

to state the subject of your post.

Not necessarily. I can use it for other purposes. (5, Funny)

melikamp (631205) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806393)

Re: Clearly it exists

Re:Only if there were (3, Insightful)

Clever7Devil (985356) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806085)

And I'd say that includes file-sharing and network tv. Americans are pretty trained to their video stimulus, and they'll find it. They also, however, have been trained to expect it for free. The box is open, I don't see it closing now.

Re:Only if there were (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806381)

You are correct. I've been watching TV over thirty years for free, with just an antenna. The advent of VCRs and DVDs made it easier for me to collect my favorite shows (like Star Trek), but I still prefer to see my television without a charge because, let's face it, a lot of it is trash and not worth buying.

Youtube falls into the "not worth buying" category. I'll simply boycott the site rather than handover a single dollar, and get my entertainment someplace else for free (like over-the-air television).

Re:Only if there were (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806103)

I think you are missing the point here. Most likely they are planning to charge for access to premium content like full TV shows, similar to how you have to pay to get premium TV channels.

Of course there are always torrents, but when you look at how well the iTunes store does selling videos I think there is clearly a market. Youtube has the advantage of not needing to installed the bloated piece of crap that is iTunes, just watch in your web browser.

That is the problem (1)

coryking (104614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806219)

This is the problem:

just watch in your web browser

Video was never meant for your computer. It was meant to be viewed with your fat ass parked on a couch holding a beer and a remote. Anything else is for the birds.

I'd only pay for content if I could stream it to my SageTV (i.e. mythtv, only with a high WAF). I can stream Youtube content to it now so I would hope they allow me to watch paid content the same way. Doubt it though.

Re:That is the problem (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806407)

>>>Video was never meant for your computer. It was meant to be viewed with your fat ass parked on a couch holding a beer and a remote.

Old-fashioned thinking. My ass is parked in a recliner right now AND watching tv shows/movies on a computer screen. In fact many times I watch both the television and the computer playing-back a torrent at the same time. I feel very comfortable.

Re:That is the problem (1)

coryking (104614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806479)

Old-fashioned thinking

Not really. I'd say the opposite in fact. Your fancy 1080p plasma TV is the most expensive monitor in your entire house. If anything, using a laptop to watch any kind of media is old-fashioned. The "hip" way hasn't fully been formed yet, but soon enough, I personally think your TV and something like an iphone will take the place of your laptop. Well, let me qualify that, it will replace your laptop for recreational use, not work use.

But if wanting to watch a video with several people at the same time without huddling around a tiny screen is old-fashioned, I guess that makes me old-fashioned too!

If the numbers are correct... (1)

earnest murderer (888716) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806193)

That's just a matter of waiting until the VC money runs out. (ie not long)

And if forcing a profit out of the platform kills it.... maybe that's in Google's best interest anyway.

long term, in 10 years when everyone has the bandwidth and software to back it up we'll be serving our own damn videos and Google can go back to what it does best.

hehe... (1)

lapinmalin (1400199) | more than 5 years ago | (#27805995)

no i wouldnt

No (5, Insightful)

cyberkahn (398201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806001)

The simple answer is no. I think people will go to pages were the video is prefaced with a short commercial before paying for Youtube. That's my humble opinion though.

Re:No (5, Interesting)

N3Roaster (888781) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806077)

Yup, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't pay for YouTube. Now, if they set up some sort of system where you could tip the people who put up particularly neat stuff and skimmed a percentage off of that, I could see doing that.

Youtube stands for "us", not them! (2, Interesting)

theblondebrunette (1315661) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806159)

Nada, nope, No, nein, niet, ne

Just because they have to make money, doesn't mean I have to pay.
If you want premium content, you need another brand. Youtube stands for "us", not them!

Re:No (2, Informative)

tedgyz (515156) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806195)

Agreed. I have found hulu's ad content to be quite tolerable. I am surprised all the TV networks aren't jumping on the bandwagon. The advertisers get better exposure than the typical commercial hopping performed by tivo users.

I use beyondtv and have the added benefit if blowing through a whole block of commercials in one swell foop (when the smartskip algorithm works).

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27806225)

I agree.

Re:No (4, Interesting)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806289)

I think it depends on exactly how much you're paying for what content. paying for user-generated content? No. Paying for content available for free (ad supported) on Hulu? Probably not.

But if there were a site where I could pay a small fee (either subscription or per-episode) to watch virtually any show I want, then I'm game. The iTunes model works well enough for me, but the prices are too high. I generally don't want to "buy" TV shows for $2/episode, but if it were something closer to maybe $0.50 for a TV episode "rental", I'd be more interested.

But for me, at least, paying for TV shows online has to pretty much get to the point where I can replace my cable TV for cheaper than the price of cable TV, and it's at least as convenient. Of course, I don't expect that the content owners will go for that, because they have lots of profitable arrangements with the cable companies.

Re:No (5, Interesting)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806431)

I work in a media corp that is currently in a long-term transition to all ad-supported, and, from experience, I'll tell you it's not going to work.

The problem with ad supported on the internet is that you can't charge what you charge for a TV spot or a newspaper ad...There are too many people vying for a slice of the internet ad revenue pie. But the majority of the costs for producing your high-end product remain.

So what's the alternative to charging for it? I mean, I've been thinking about this for (literally) a decade, and I really used to think that we could be self-supporting by ad revenue, and it's just not happening.

We've been riding the "free" gravy train for a long time. Lot of companies have been using their web presence as a loss leader, or justifying their losses on the potential for future monitization. This is going to end. It simply has to.

I can very easily see YouTube transitioning to what is effectively an a la carte cable TV provider...You pay a buck a month to the ESPN channel on YouTube, or whatever. The current configuration becomes effectively a massive public access cable channel, supported by subscription-based premium channels.

And, when it comes down to it, I see nothing wrong with that. I'd cancel my cable service in favor of something like that, in a heartbeat. It'd kill Tivo, and traditional cable.

problem with ad supported videos (5, Funny)

ifeelswine (1546221) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806007)

is that no product is going to want to be placed next to a monkey urinating in his own mouth.

Re:problem with ad supported videos (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806467) product is going to want to be placed next to a monkey urinating in his own mouth.

Right! But that would be great placement for a political campaign spot...
"Vote for our guy, or you could end up with THIS..." (cue monkey)

It's worked for other people in the past (1)

Centurix (249778) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806009)

Take Audiogalaxy for example...

I'll handle this thread (4, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806013)

$x = number_of_slashdot_readers;

  print 'NO LOL!'

Re:I'll handle this thread (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27806161)

Hey, sounds fantastic to me! Where do I pay?

(By the way, there is a bug in your code.)

Re:I'll handle this thread (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27806233)

There is no bug if you assume their is a infident amount of /. readers.

Re:I'll handle this thread (1)

kentrel (526003) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806269)

I think he means there's no ";" at the end of your print statement

Re:I'll handle this thread (1)

daybot (911557) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806331)

Peer review: the beauty of open source :)

Why? (4, Insightful)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806015)

That content's already free, and much of its public.

The media companies already have other venues, namely their websites and the channels they own. And bittorrent covers the rest.

So, why pay, when its free?

Re:Why? (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806141)

Mod parent up! Bittorrent is youtube's most serious competitor

no way (4, Insightful)

coryking (104614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806263)

Bittorrent is youtube's most serious competitor

Point me to the bittorrent client that I can embed into any webpage, click "play", and with little to no wait, watch a video. Make sure it can work with 95% of all browsers on the market without installing a plugin*.

If you think bittorrent competes with Youtube, you dont understand what Youtube does.

* flash is a plugin, but since you already have it installed, it doesn't count.

Re:no way (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806451)

It's true bittorrent isn't instantaneous, but it's still a competitor because most of us who use BT have huge backlogs of videos. I currently have 300 gigs of TV shows and movies I have not watched, and given the choice between paying Youtube and watching my BT backlog, I would choose the free stuff on my drive.

And that's unlikely to change. I will always have a backlog, simply because my connection downloads bittorrent video faster than I can watch it. Simply put: I don't need youtube.

Re:Why? (0)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806155)

The media companies are loosing control of their audience and are working companies like Google over to try and regain control. They don't realize that they have been passed by yet.

Re:Why? (1)

SirLurksAlot (1169039) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806171)

I would assume that that is where the "premium content" part comes in to play. If there was content that was available only on youtube (yes, I realize that given the current availability of content all over the web this is nigh impossible) I could see some people being willing to pay for it. I would also assume that the content that is user-generated or public domain would remain free (at least I would hope), though it wouldn't surprise me in the least to see user content prefixed with ads. As for media companies already having other venues, do you really think that if they can get their tentacles into more diverse outlets that they won't do so?

I'm not saying that the pay-per-view (or whatever other model they come up with) will be successful, but I do believe that P.T. Barnum had it right when he said there is a sucker born ever minute, and SOMEONE will pay up.

PS: I absolutely hate your sig, you jerk. >:-D

Why not? (4, Interesting)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806017)

Why not? If the price is right and the content is worth, I have no problems in paying for it, just like I don't have problems paying for a ticket to a movie theater or for a nice and shiny DVD.

As most things in life, it all depends on the value you get in return for your money.

youtube death (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27806025)

The beginning of the end for youtube.

Depends... what's my cut? (4, Interesting)

schon (31600) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806027)

How much of the revenue would be going to the people who produce the videos?

Re:Depends... what's my cut? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27806055)

Then, they'll come around and charge YOU for the storage and bandwidth for hosting your videos - and around and round we go.

Here's the meat. (5, Insightful)

nesfreak64 (1093307) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806033)

We all know that Youtube costs Google money, that much is certain. But what do you do when you've been offering a free service for this long and then say, "Ok guys, you're going to need to pay for some things." I don't think it'll work. There's too many people that are used to the service being free, and not only that, but there are many alternatives should this arise.

Does it? (4, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806139)

That idea only works if you take the accountant view to running a business. But accounts don't run businesses. Entrepeneurs do.

What would be the cost to google of NOT having youtube. Shareholders make lousy businessmen even worse then accountants. At least accountants care about the bottom line at the end of the year, not the next quarter.

Shell recently said it would no longer concetrate on alternative energy. Smart short term move. VERY short term. The world is changing and you never know when you need to be ready to diversify. When Shell invested in alternative energy it cost them money but it was considered to be worth it because IF alternative energies became more important it would stop Shell from becoming UN-important.

Google didn't buy youtube because it thought youtube made money, it bought it because it saw a future there and wanted to be part of it. What better way to search through online video then to be the one hosting it. You may not like youtube searching but compare it to googles image search. Why do you think the first is more reliable? IF youtube had remained a 3rd party or even worse, had become MULTIPLE small time third parties, might another search engine take over if it became more capable of vinding the vids people wanted?

Wether google is right in this logic, or has another reason remains to be seen. Maybe they saw a huge future in ads in front of the vids. That means they need to control the vids. No ads in front of vids they don't control. if the ad market comes back or video ads become better, they are to late if they have no way to get them connected.

So, yes, right now Youtube costs money, but that is called investment. It is what shareholders were supposed to be for.

Re:Does it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27806421)

Its been my observation though, that entrepreneurs who neglect to consider the bottom-line are usually the entrepreneurs who are out of business within a few years (and are also the ones going, "don't know what happened").

Google obviously won't go out of business from it, but still, bottom line is an important consideration, unless you're truely doing it to just "give back".

Nope (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806035)

Whether I'd pay or not, charging for videos would kill the platform. Why? Because there's a (more than one, actually) free alternative. Why would someone pay money for getting exactly what they get other places? You might get a few people to pay, in general, though, it would mean that people move elsewhere.

No, "what about Windows and Linux" does not count. YouTube doesn't come with your PC, YouTube has nothing you can't get elsewhere (like, say, Windows Games before the advent of Wine, and even with it). There is no "YouTube only" content that is so important to people that they wouldn't move to another video hoster in the blink of an eye.

HD ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27806037)

I'd pay a pittance for HD if there's content worth watching in HD. I'm not sure what that would be ... perhaps well stitched together gags and more obscure TV shows. There's also a great market there for entertaining kids. 4 year old will search for airplanes and then watch every video with airplanes. If that were stitched together and HD and kept her attention for an hour, I'd pay for that.

People want free.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27806041)

If YouTube becomes a pay-only site, people will leave to find a free alternative.

Of course I'd pay. (3, Funny)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806057)

It goes on the list right after

paying for slashdot commentary on my posts.

Re:Of course I'd pay. (1)

Rungi (1098221) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806135)

You're right. That'll be $1.99 for viewing this commentary.

It worked for them (4, Insightful)

WilyCoder (736280) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806069)

Hey, it worked for Napster, right?


Yes (3, Insightful)

jbolden (176878) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806081)

I can see a system of inexpensive youtube videos tied to google payment. At say $.05 for a 10 minute video I can easily imagine not worrying about it. The problem is that if they are greedy and it is say $1 for a 10 minute video this will kill the model. I can also see that working well for low distribution content. 10k people at say $.25 per yr x 500 shows is not a bad revenue stream.

The standards for a paysite are much higher than for a free site. That means customer service. I do agree that this isn't likely to happen and the result is going to be that content fragments to dozens of sites all indexed ironically enough by google.

Re:Yes (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806481)

I don't see it working like that, except maybe for movies. It'd be much easier to set up "premium" channels, and charge a monthly for access to those.

Lot of people seem to be looking at this as "we're going to monetize our current content" when I think what they're saying is, they're going to start offering content that is already being monetized in other forums. The one thing YouTube really lacks (besides a revenue stream, hah) is traditional, copyrighted, media.

I doubt it, but ... (1)

Zumbs (1241138) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806105)

They may get paying customers by adding a premium membership, where commercials were removed and speeds were better. If this premium membership also allowed access to a number of full-length movies, series etc, they may have a winner on their hands.

Certainly... (2, Funny)

JackSpratts (660957) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806113)


Maybe (2, Interesting)

mariushm (1022195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806115)

If the Youtube video would be the movie showing right now in cinema, in 720p @ 3-4mbps, then yes, I would pay up to $1-1.5 to see it.

Without any kind of commercials. Not once. Anytime I want (I would be allowed to view only one of the movies I bought at a time so it wouldn't be abused).

The reality is movies won't be available outside US anyway, because of all the deals movie studios make with local distributors and resellers so I couldn't care less.

It depends (4, Interesting)

OpenSourced (323149) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806121)

I would certainly pay a moderate amount for a High-quality, big pipe site with a wide selection of videos. And I mean wide, none of that "its from this provider, so it's in this other service". Of course with no DRM, I want to see the films at my mom's where there is no broadband. I say "a moderate amount" is a flat rate of about twenty dollars a month, perhaps up to forty if you use really a lot of bandwidth.

In the other corner, rather more likely, seeing what's on offer today, we could have an anemic selection of videos, many of them old, most of them in less-than-optimal quality (meaning you can get them in better quality in bittorrent), with a time lag for new releases, lots of DRM, and lots of service hiccups too.

Well, I can wait.

Re:It depends (1)

Warlord88 (1065794) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806285)

I concur. People would pay reasonable amount for better services. There has been lot of talk recently about the how developing world is a profit sink for web companies - [] . An effective cost model might help things for youtube and other companies as well.

However, one should also take into consideration the effect of currency conversion. Outside the US, one cannot expect to pay the same cost for same kind of services. You said you are willing to pay up to 20 USD/month. This would be equivalent to 1000 INR/month in India and NO ONE would be willing to pay that much. Take the setting of a grad student (which I am). In US, the same cost would be 1% of his monthly stipend. In India, it would be up to 10%

I raise this issue because I have faced this problem many times. I always want to donate a certain amount of money to certain software developers (e.g. ViM). But the amount I can afford to donate (which would be reasonable if the developers would be in India) would be paltry once converted into USD.

In short, I, along with several others here, would be willing to pay for better services. But in rupees, not in dollars.

This is so stupid. (5, Interesting)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806149)

YouTube could much more easily make money by charging a small fee to UPLOAD video to YouTube. If they charged you $1 per video upload, they'd make a mint and most people would be happy to pay it.

Re:This is so stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27806349)

And it would weed out a lot of the crap.

Nope (5, Interesting)

coryking (104614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806151)

Pay to view? Sorry. There isn't much quality content on youtube worth paying for.

Pay to post? That might work. People who pay could have more control over their content. They could keep it from being compressed to hell, do things like swap the youtube logo with their own, have embedded links in their content, etc... I bet there is money in that market. But I'll tell you one thing... there ain't a damn thing on youtube I'd pay for. Cover bands doing cheesy remixes, teenagers getting their 15-minutes, and videos of cute pandas eating bamboo aren't worth paying for.

Re:Nope (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806397)

Pay to post high quality is absolutely where it's at. Let the poster decide on commercial content. If the users don't want to sit through the commercials, they won't watch (and they'll rank you down.)

If any Google employees read this... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27806167)

Disney-Hulu is a joke compared to YouTube. YouTube is a library of user-made videos and some commercial stuff. Hulu is a limited rotation of 5 TV episodes for series they own. It's a webby sample of cable, ads mixed with what amounts to more ads for their cable TV. If any Google employees are out there reading this, please spin off the YouTube brand with a new one for competing with Hulu ("GoogleTV", "YouTube2", "TvTube", etc). Come up with a better system to attract users and advertisers. Don't try to warp YouTube into something it isn't currently (it's not a clone of Hulu). You're going to burn a lot of bridges unless you beta-beta test this with some new system without trashing the current one.

Err... (0, Redundant)

Mystra_x64 (1108487) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806181)

No thanks. Why would I?

Rick Rolled (5, Insightful)

Rocky1138 (758394) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806187)

How would you feel if you pay per video and got Rick Rolled? Or accidentally watched a Chris Crocker video? This will never work for user-submitted videos. Only if they offer HD, full-episode shows that I want to watch on any PC I own with no DRM would I even consider looking at it.

Slashdot is irrelevent (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27806215)

I mean really, half the articles are like this. Who really cares? There are people that already go to the movies, and buy shit online.

The "summary" is just trolling for the standard hate that always gets posted on /.

"I hate copyright"
"I hate paying for stuff"
"I hate Microsoft/any other company that tries to exert _any_ control over my computing experience"

Really, it mostly comes down to money. Most people want it. Some try to get more of it (those companies) and others cling to it (consumers who want free shit).

There are a few really smart people on slashdot. Some funny ones too. But why are so many of the topic postins SO stupid?

This raises an important question: would you actually pay for premium content on YouTube and other sites, or will this draw viewers away to other video sites?

WTF are you asking?! What, do you just want me to hate on youtube, for... whatever? Fine, I hate youtube. I hate hulu. I hate all the movie/TV show makers that want to put there shit on the net. I hate... whatever, fuck it, the internet.

/me goes out side

/yells_from_a_distance I hate IRC too...!

Embed a torrent client (1)

rhoder (690061) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806231)

Embed a modified-for-streaming torrent client into the youtube flash app?

Optional payment for ad-free (2, Interesting)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806241)

I MIGHT take the option of making a micro payment to make the video ad-free for me. That way anybody can access videos. It's not easy to charge for a user-generated video across the board because that will likely diminish ability to share videos. For example, now I post videos to my blog, facebook page, email the link to many people, etc. To require my viewers to pay for what I think is neat or nifty is slightly absurd especially when they're doing the same thing with their video links.

Depends... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806259)

Pay for streaming of full length TV shows/movies/whatever else YouTube can make a deal with? Possibly.

Pay for seeing the latest WTF webcam gag? No.

"Just like before, except now you're paying for it" is a really rotten value proposition. The sites that try moving to payment/subscriptions yet don't do anything different are just making a quick suicide, User's don't care if your numbers aren't adding up, if they are to pay more they want more. But I think google knows, they're trying in the longest to extract money from everyone else using your data before they start asking money from you.

Rickrolling (2, Funny)

ShanxT (1280784) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806277)

If I get rickrolled, will I get my money back?

Ah, micro-payments. They exist yet? (4, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806279)

How can I pay a small amount for a vid when there is no existing world-wide service to pay a small amount without it costing me a fortune?

1 dollar (iTune cost) for a vid? Like hell. That is way to much and already in that case the costs of the actual transaction makes up an insane part. Imagine if your shopping for a new coat cost 50 bucks to pay with your bank card.

That is the reason micro-payments have not caught on. It is not that people would mind paying a a nickle, it is that paying a nickle costs 25 cents.

Perhaps google should go in the banking business to break through this. The banks sure as hell aren't going to. In the netherlands we got the cheapest pay system (PIN) and that is being replaced in the future because .... well because a working reliable secure cheap system just ain't good enough. We got to get the unreliable, not working expensive system everyone else uses.

Re:Ah, micro-payments. They exist yet? (1)

drizek (1481461) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806477)

Google Checkout probably. They can get rid of the fees since they own it. You can deposit a bunch of money into it and then google can withdraw for every video you watch. You still have access to all the money in the account though and you can spend it on whatever you want.

It could be interesting IF.... (1)

fluffernutter (1411889) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806281)

It could be interesting if they established a model whereby a person could develop and market a video or series of videos on their own. Allow the individual to set the price within certain guidelines and youtube would take a piece and the person would take the rest. Then just sit back and let market forces do the work.

perhaps a better question... (1)

Cyko_01 (1092499) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806287)

...what google service WOULD you pay for?

blogger - maybe
chrome - no
gmail - maybe
docs/spreadsheets - absolutely!
google desktop - maybe
youtube - no
picasa - yes
earth - yes
sketchup - yes
gtalk - no
toolbar - no
calendar - maybe

what google service WOULD you pay for? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806417)


Re:perhaps a better question... (1)

GvG (776789) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806457)

Interesting that you left out Google Search. It's the only one I would possibly pay for.

I rarely watch it now when it is free! (2, Insightful)

hackel (10452) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806315)

The majority of YouTube video is so worthless I couldn't imagine ever paying for it. Sure, those forwards you get from people are cute and/or amusing for about 5 seconds, but nothing I would ever want to pay for.

On the other hand, perhaps giving users the opportunity to make some money in the form of micro-payments could actually increase the quality of what is made available. In this case, it would definitely be worth it. I would just like to see the money going to individual user-content-creators, not big, professional media companies.

Hell no... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806317)

The "entertainment" on youtube isn't good enough for me to want to pay. I'd rather buy my content on DVD or Bluray, with their higher-quality video, and use that to fill-in my spare time than pay youtube for grainy vids.

Or just take up reading books with the radio playing in the background - a cheap form of entertainment.

A for pay youtube migth be a empty place (1)

DUdsen (545226) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806325)

and more important do you want to upload files to a service that charge users for access. and what would youtube be without the worlds funniest home videos. And this is what those services thrive on they connect someone willing to publish but without a name with someone willing to consume.

With a big potion of the content comming from the userbase and the low entry to market for competing services, it's hard capitalise on your userbase without destroying your userbase. if you push to hard they will scatter out on the many different ways they can do most of what you offer on the web.

Pay works when the media hype have already told people they want something, it's harder when the product is unknown stuble upon stuff like what youtube really is all about.

Youtube User (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27806343)

Only if they got pr0n.

No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27806373)


Next up... (1)

mad flyer (589291) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806375)

How much would you pay to read comments on digg...

Please comebody shoot me...

YouTube is dieing (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806383)

Google confirms it...

Would You Pay For YouTube Videos? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806385)

No, I would not.

The Death Of YouTube. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27806401)

If people have to pay for it, they will drop it like a hot potato, and it will become a site devoid of any new content in a very short amount of time. It's too user-driven for them to start actually charging for its use.

Well, just to add to the cacophony... (1)

Evil Shabazz (937088) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806423)

Q: Would you pay for YouTube content?

A: No.

YouTube content is rarely worth paying any amount of money for, even $.05. Guess what, Google - there are countless other free video sharing sites out there (Metacafe, DailyMotion, Veoh, etc) that would love for you to start charging users extra money to watch content. Just think of how many users you'll send their way by doing that. They'll pick up the free, sharing community you're looking to alienate.

Before it changes, educate yourself on 9/11 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27806425)

For example, Friday's interview [] with Niels Harrit, Associate Professor at the Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen, for 37 years, on the finding of Nano-Thermite in WTC Dust. Denmark also has a website [] on the 9/11 truth movement.

Maybe, with quality and micropayments (1)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806437)

With a service like Hulu, definitely.

With a service like Youtube, maybe. There are some videos worth seeing, but the vast amount are rubbish. Without a good preview feature (num of hits and rating is not a good indicator), I'd just watch a commercial before-hand, and 99% of the time I wouldn't return to watch that video. For returning videos I would if I could see them in high-quality and the price was rather cheap (I'm thinking in terms of dime/minute). Let me load up my account with some money, and then use that credit over-time, getting an alert when I get below a set threshold. It works for google, they get to store the money and collect interest, I don't have to finagle with a CC every time I want higher quality.

So the main problem for Youtube is lack of quality content. If they were to get more "official" content, then they'd have an easier time making a sell to people, but I'm not that interested in paying for America's Funniest Home Videos writ large.

Look at this from the standpoint of an investor (1)

bjustice (1053864) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806439)

Google said "Trust us, investors: We're going to continue giving away Search for free and figure out how to monetize it later. But trust us, you'll get rich!"

... and they were right! This gave Google a lot of credibility when they said "Trust us, investors: We're going to continue giving away YouTube for free and figure out how to monetize it later. But trust us, you'll get rich!"

... except they were wrong. YouTube costs Google investors more money than it returns with no signs that dynamic will shift. In fact, it's probably getting worse over time: Google loses money on every YouTube visit; increasing market share or total visits just makes the investor loses worse.

So Google must do something to turn YouTube profitable or their credibility with investors to "Give away free for now and monetize later" will be shot.

Are they joking? (1)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806443)

Let's just think about this for a moment. Would anyone pay for this [] ? Or this [] ? Or ?

I didn't think so, either.

probably not ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27806445)

Guess no, because I click through a lot of vids that might be perhaps worth watching. Sometimes just, because someone else has pointed me to it, but I don't know before if it's even worth my time, not to mention paying for it.
If a vid bores me, I stop, before I've seen the whole thing.

I'd rather accept more adverts than to pay for every click I do. I would't give anyone any credit card info for that stuff anyway.

Hmmm. Nope. (1)

Eric Freyhart (752088) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806447)

Hulu has probably the best advertising model for web video content ever devised. And now that Disney has agreed to place their content on Hulu, I think the fight for premium content may be over and done with. Sorry Google, you lose this one.

Try [] and come back and let us know what you think of this revenue model over anything that Google has tried so far.

Yes i would,if (1)

velja27 (1427879) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806471)

If the videos were downloadable,and not poor quality you can download with all addons and programs but HQ and HD videos,and there were shows that are showed on CBS,ABC etc. and these shows were downloadable too.Well once they got that and few neat features.

YouLube coming soon.. (1)

cheros (223479) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806487)

Charging for access with a global economic crisis will turn it from YouTube into YouLube, because X-rated content appears to be the only thing selling right now. Given the quality of their age control mechanism I suspect it will take just over 0.43 msec for the first lawsuit to appear.

To put it mildly, I would question the value of that idea. I understand the drivers, but there must be other things that can be done.

Just my two cents.

lol... (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806489)

But how does the concurrence do it? Vimeo? MetaCafe? DailyMotion? Surely one of them must be _not_ losing money.

Plus, it's important to keep in mind that there's very little that makes YouTube better than Vimeo, if anything at all besides being the defacto leader. Sounds to me like YouTube is at a moment where it could lose to a concurrent who's ready to take the #1 spot just like MySpace lost to Facebook a few years ago.

i just got off the toilet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27806491)

i shit out an obama.


YES!! (1)

needs2bfree (1256494) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806495)

I can see myself paying for a subscription. I would not pay per video, even as a miropayment. I'm not spending my money on being rickrolled.

What I would pay for however, are shows that are currently on cable. If I had the choice to only download the shows I wanted, ad free, for 20 bucks a month, I would jump at it. To be able to catch up on entire seasons without downloading the torrent and risking all the nasty stuff that comes with it would be awesome.
On the data mining side, Google could find out who is watching what. This would give them an enormous amount of data for their AdSense program. I wouldn't care. I get my tv whenever and where ever I want.

Maybe. Give it a try. (2, Interesting)

ouder (1080019) | more than 5 years ago | (#27806497)

The only real way to answer this question is to give it a try. Slapping a fee on everything could hurt the YouTube brand a lot, so it needs to be done slowly and starting at the fringes. I think they should let content providers charge subscription fees for their channels. Of course, YouTube/Google would get a cut of the revenue. Regular viewers shouldn't complain because this is new content above and beyond what is currently offered. YouTube could assess how users react and everyone could get a feel for how the price structures should be set up. My guess is that the content provides will seriously overprice their content. Content providers have pretty consistently overestimated the value of their content and what consumers will pay. We will probably end up with a model where short commercials are injected into long content. Viewers will have a choice to either watch or pay a subscription fee to skip the ads. Consumers will have the choice to 1)pay 2)watch commercials or 3)find entertainment elsewhere. Content providers tend to forget about this third option.
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