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Report: YouTube to Bow SVOD Platform

6 May, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Social video behemoth could bow SVOD platform as early as this week

YouTube reportedly is set to launch a subscription video-on-demand platform for its content, with channels costing $1.99 a month.

The SVOD offering, which has been rumored for months, could launch as early as this week, according to FinancialTimes.com, which cited sources familiar with the plan.

YouTube, which cut its teeth with user-generated videos (still the dominant source of unique viewers) and currently offers transactional VOD videos from studios, would allow content partners to market SVOD plans to their specific audiences.

Since launching a third-party content channels platform, YouTube has spent about $200 million during the past 18 months developing the concept, which heretofore has been either free or ad-supported.

YouTube attracts about 1 billion viewers watching 6 billion hours of video a month, making it the perennial No. 1 online video destination, according to comScore.

The updated platform, which would compete against SVOD pioneer Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video and Hulu Plus, would target about 50 of its content channels, with subscription revenue split between YouTube and third-party content partners.

YouTube, which declined to comment specifically on the SVOD plan, told FT.com, it was “looking into creating a subscription platform that could bring even more great content to YouTube for our users to enjoy and provide our creators with another vehicle to generate revenue from their content, beyond the rental and ad-supported models we [currently] offer.”

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