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YouTube CEO Salar Kamangar has suggested that the video sharing website could introduce a subscription service.
The company is currently investing around $100m to develop dedicated content channels for subjects such as news, fashion and fitness and celebrity gossip.
During an interview at D:Dive Into Media, Kamangar said we are entering a “third wave” of media where people expect to receive exactly what they want to watch through a continuous stream of video content.
YouTube is looking to take advantage of this perceived gap in the market with its new emphasis on channels, and the company is considering allowing some of these channels to work on a subscription model.
Kamangar estimated that about 20% of all video revenues, both online and off,come from sales or rentals, while subscriptions and advertising account for 40% each.
While he believes that the ad spend as a proportion of revenue will increase, YouTube also needs to make sure it is catering for all its customers’ needs.
The company is also looking to change people’s perception of YouTube from a place where you go to watch a three-minute viral clip to a destination for a longer ‘lean-back’ viewing experience.
The new focus on channels is a key part of helping it achieve this goal as viewers are enticed by original content from brands they trust such as Reuters.
To promote the benefits of branded channels YouTube has posted a blog highlighting the success of a fitness channel hosted by Mike Chang.
The blog says that thanks to Mike’s “easy-to-do workout videos, steady stream of new content and special seasonal discounts offers” he now has 370,000 channel subscribers.
Fitness brand TRX also managed to build a strong following through celebrity interviews and content aimed at a range of viewers.
Its banner ads and call-to-action overlays directing viewers to its product pages were responsible for 7% of holiday sales through paid search channels in December.