YouTube channels with more than 10,000 subscribers given option to charge fees
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- YouTube has millions of video clips, from Korean pop sensations to cats inside a cup. And while you can lose yourself for hours on the site, the privilege may start costing you money.
Some YouTube channels already cost money right now to watch and soon even more could follow.
You can see Maru the Japanese for free, but because his channel has so many subscribers, Maru's owner can now charge for watching.
In fact, any YouTube channel with 10,000 subscribers can now charge you to watch.
"I wouldn't if I had to pay," said Diana McDonnell, a Houston YouTube watcher.
McDonnell watches all sorts of YouTube channels with her son, including videos from the Houston Zoo.
"We want to teach people about animals, and there are amazing things that animals do. And things that you would never get to see in the wild, you can see in our zoo, and we want to capture those things for people who may never get to come to our zoo," said Katie Niemann who is the Houston Zoo Director of Interactive Marketing.
Niemann says even though the zoo will soon have 10,000 subscribers on its YouTube channel, the zoo has no intention of charging to watch it.
"We don't want to charge for content," Niemann said.
But some YouTube channels already are charging; the UFC is $5.99 a month and National Geographic Kids is $3.99 a month.
"These people that are creating the content can monetize that, they can charge you to view the content they are putting up there," said Jay Lee, host of Technology Bytes.
Lee says even if some channels cost money, do not expect to fork over money to see videos just yet.
"People may gravitate over to who is providing that for free," Lee said.
Less says just because a channel has 10,000 followers, it does not mean they must charge to see the content; it is up to the content provider to decide.
action13, jeff ehling
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