YouTube is the number-one largest video streaming platform on the worldwide web, and many YouTube users earn money from the videos they post. Some content creators even earn enough money from their videos to make YouTube-ing into their full-time job. It’s not easy or common, but some YouTubers have even become multi-millionaires based solely on the content they post on YouTube.

There are several ways to make money on YouTube. Many YouTube content creators with high numbers of viewers receive sponsorships, through which other companies pay a certain YouTuber to review a product or service on their channel. YouTubers can also make money through ad revenue, which means they receive a certain amount of money each time one of their viewers clicks on an advertisement that is embedded in their YouTube video. 

YouTubers’ income relies on the number of views they get and the number of subscribers they gain and keep. However, as of now, subscribing to any YouTube channel is free for YouTube users. Many YouTube content creators are able to earn money from the videos they post in indirect ways such as through sponsorships or ad revenue, but YouTube and its creators don’t actually charge users any money to view videos or subscribe to content creators. 

A cornerstone of YouTube is that it is a platform that people can use free of charge to watch any of the millions of videos that are posted every day on this video streaming giant. 

However, in mid-2018, YouTube released a channel memberships tool that allowed content creators to charge viewers for access to some exclusive video content on their channel. Rumors are currently swirling that YouTube is developing another similar tool through which news publishers would be able to sell subscriptions to off-platform content on their own websites or platforms via their YouTube channels. 

Don’t worry, though. The upcoming launch of this proposed YouTube subscription sales tool doesn’t mean you’ll have to start paying for the videos you watch anytime in the near future. The new subscription sales tool on YouTube, if launched at all, would only apply to a select few channels owned by mainstream news publishers and their off-platform publications. 

If you have more questions about the launch of YouTube’s new proposed subscription sales tool, keep reading to learn the most up-to-date details on this big decision from the number-one video streaming platform worldwide. 

Who Will Be Able to Use the Subscription Sales Tool? 

If YouTube’s new subscription sales tool does launch, it would primarily benefit news publishers and their off-platform publications. Most content creators would be largely unaffected by this proposed change to YouTube’s revenue generation model. 

The proposed new subscription sales tool that YouTube is considering adding to their platform offers news publishers the exclusive option to sell access to off-platform content through their YouTube channel. For example, it would allow a newspaper company to sell subscriptions to their newspaper publication via their YouTube channel. 

Why is YouTube Considering Adding a Subscription Sales Tool? 

YouTube values supporting the news industry. The video streaming platform has made several strides toward offering improved monetization options for news publications since they joined the news industry support-focused Google News Initiative program in early 2018. 

Youtube may be offering paid subscriptions soon

Youtube may be offering paid subscriptions soon

However, with the way YouTube’s revenue generation is currently set up, it remains difficult for news publications to earn money from the videos they post. This is largely due to advertisers’ widespread hesitation to attach their ads to videos from news publications for fear that their products or services could be unintentionally associated with offensive or divisive content in these news-focused videos. 

Offering news publications the option to sell subscriptions to off-platform content outside of YouTube via their YouTube channel through a brand-new subscription sales tool could help this video streaming platform giant ease long-standing tensions between the platform and mainstream news publications. 

When Will YouTube’s Sales Subscription Sales Tool Launch? 

If YouTube makes the decision to launch paid subscriptions on its platform, these paid subscriptions are expected to launch within the next several months. 

YouTube first brought up the idea of launching a paid subscription option in April of 2020 and, if they decide to follow through with this idea, YouTube is expected to debut paid subscriptions on their platform by the end of 2020. Check back with us for more info, as we’ll update this story as it unfolds.