Have a YouTube Channel? Soon You Can Charge Your Subscribers

Since its inception, YouTube has experimented with many designs, functions and monetization strategies. To monetize a YouTube video prior to April 2012, a user had to be invited to the elite YouTube Partner Program. While the exact qualifications to get invited to the exclusive program weren’t entirely known, users sought to get invited and make money from their cat-pouncing and baby-giggling video masterpieces.

In April 2012, YouTube opened the partnership program to all users, allowing them to monetize any videos that met these specifications. This move was  a strategic move by YouTube to gain more revenue.

And based on the stats below, the revenue stream will only continue to grow. From YouTube’s stats page:

+Over 800 million unique users visit YouTube each month
+Over 4 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube
+72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
+70% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US
+YouTube is localized in 53 countries and across 61 languages
+In 2011, YouTube had more than 1 trillion views or around 140 views for every person on Earth
+Millions of subscriptions happen each day. Subscriptions allow you to connect with someone you’re interested in — whether it’s a friend, or the NBA — and keep up with their activity on the site

By monetizing this massive amount of video, YouTube was a steal for Google at its purchase price of $1.65 billion in 2006. With the popularity of video on the rise, YouTube recently divulged their desire to allow content creators to charge for subscriptions–another cash cow for YouTube, as they’ll surely take a cut.

Robert Knycl, head of content at YouTube, made this shrouded remark at a meeting last week in LA: “the potential of paid channels unlocks an opportunity to create new revenue streams.” (Source)

When the executives choose to rollout this shift is not yet known, but the liklihood of it happening is as sure as the fact that in the time it’s taken you to read this, nearly 216 hours of content has been uploaded to YouTube.

Time to upload a video?