first_imgGoogle currently generates revenue from YouTube mainly through advertising, but it has been rumored for some time now that the video portal is set to get a channel subscription service. Such a service would see a user pay a fixed monthly subscription charge in return for unlimited access to content on a given channel, or maybe even a set of channels.According to the Financial Times, Google is expected to announce YouTube subscriptions this week, with prices starting at $1.99 per month, per channel. However, it has previously been rumored channel subscriptions could cost anywhere from $1 to $5 per month.Google isn’t confirming anything just yet, but is happy to admit subscriptions are being looked at as a way of generating more revenue from video. Apparently, the official announcement is expected to list up to 50 subscription channels, although it seems likely publishers with well-known cable and satellite TV channels will wait and see how well the service works before deciding to embrace it.A YouTube subscription option would complete Google’s video offerings. We already have freely-available ad-supported video alongside rental and purchase video options through the Google Play Store. Subscriptions are the only thing left to add to the mix, and could certainly entice more high-quality video on to the service as long as Google can offer such content sufficient protection from being downloaded and shared away from the site.YouTube subscriptions will also grab the attention of services such as Netflix. But it’s hard to see how Google could compete on cost. Netflix is $8 per month (or $12 with the new family plan) with access to a lot of channels/content, where as YouTube will be $1.99 or more per channel. Clearly the uniqueness of the content on offer is key to YouTube subscriptions being a success.last_img read more