YouTube Subscription Fees: A Huge Opportunity For Content MarketersIn case you haven’t heard the news, YouTube is changing one of its fundamental values. According to the Financial Times, as early as this week YouTube may add subscription charges to up to 50 channels. If you have read the news, you may have heard a bit of negativity around this potential move. Many news organizations have adopted the angle that this is an additional cost to something that’s been free until now.
That may be an easy story to sell, but it’s unfair to put a negative spin on an optional addition to a service that has never forced anything on its users. I can’t see many people abandoning their use of YouTube because channels they don’t watch will be charging other people $2 a month. At the moment it’s unclear which channels will have charges or even if any current channels will have a charge added. It’s more likely that new subscription fee channels will be added by existing YouTube partners with others given the option to add charges.
Subscription Charges Could Attract Big Players
The adoption of monthly charges will be down to the content creators and, speaking as a daily YouTube user, I can’t see many creators rushing to add large subscriptions. The majority are too engaged with their audience to consider upsetting them. The addition of charged services will have little or no impact on the video sharing network’s billion users.
It is more likely that this addition will encourage more new creators to come on board. With companies like Time Warner and Dreamworks already investing in YouTube channels, mainstream production companies may begin to see YouTube as a much more viable option with the addition of subscription services. Netflix has already proved that you can be successful with subscription online video content and, with House Of Cards, that you can make high quality content purely for online consumption.
Content Marketers, YouTube And Credibility
Which brings us to the opportunities for content marketers. Most marketers acknowledge the potential in video content. It allows you to add a human face and a real voice to your marketing message. Video is more engaging and far more accessible that written content. It also offers the opportunity for far more creativity and variety in your content. But it is often overlooked.
The main reason content marketers avoid video content is the lack of a viable platform. With services like Vimeo attracting a relative minority in terms of traffic and YouTube seemingly filled with videos of feline musicians and screaming goats, there hasn’t really been an obvious candidate. Marketers often use YouTube but embed everything on their own blog, the YouTube channel hasn’t become a common marketing tactic.
YouTube themselves have been battling to build credibility and encourage content marketers to trust the platform as a basis for their business. And this addition may be the final step in securing that credibility. If YouTube can secure high-quality channels that can rival Netflix it will become an even more popular location and a much more viable marketing platform.
YouTube Could Be The New-Tube
TV advertising became the most effective form of advertising because of the sheer size of the audience. That audience has been moving online for a few years and it will continue to do so. Meaning the real market for video advertising will be an online streaming outlet. The new video advertising may also have a new slant.
On YouTube, you can create your own channels and use SEO and PPC to target that channel at your desired market. Rather than trying to squeeze a bit of awareness out of an ad placed between slices of Game of Thrones or the Walking Dead, you can place your content alongside high quality content. And you can target it at the people who want to find out about your business.
Subscription services on YouTube may be bad news for people who want everything to be free online. It may even upset a few regular YouTube users. But it will attract interest from big production companies and that can only create an opportunity for content marketers.
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