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Media The Almighty Buck

Would You Pay For YouTube Videos? 475

secmartin writes "A couple of weeks ago, Google's CEO mentioned to investors that they might start charging YouTube's users for viewing content: 'With respect to how it will get monetized, our first priority, as you pointed out, is on the advertising side. We do expect over time to see micro payments and other forms of subscription models coming as well. But our initial focus is on advertising. We will be announcing additional things in that area literally very, very soon.' With the recent Disney-Hulu deal, Google is under increasing pressure to generate more revenue and at the same time attract more premium content. That means we might see payment options coming even sooner than expected, with control over the pricing models being handed over to the studios providing that content, like the way Apple caved in over variable pricing on iTunes. This raises an important question: would you actually pay for premium content on YouTube and other sites, or will this draw viewers away to other video sites?"
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Would You Pay For YouTube Videos?

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  • No (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 03, 2009 @10:35AM (#27805983)
    • Re:No (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @11:16AM (#27806341) Homepage

      I can't help but agree that I wouldn't pay for YouTube access. It's not THAT good or cool to validate it.

      • Never. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara.hudson@[ ... m ['bar' in gap]> on Sunday May 03, 2009 @01:03PM (#27807137) Journal

        No is too mild a word.

        I have better things to do with my time ... erm ... like post on slashdot.

        Seriously, never, no, nada, nein, nyet, or as we say in Soviet Kanuckistan, "No fucking way, eh!"

        Not everything can be monetized - and not everything that you can extract a revenue stream from will generate a profit. "First we get the eyeballs, then we figure out how to make money from it" is dead, Jim.

      • Re:No (Score:4, Insightful)

        by LoRdTAW ( 99712 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @03:47PM (#27808499)

        I agree. I would never pay for normal access to user created content. But if there was a pay-for section of premium commercial free content then I could see that being acceptable. It would be great If we had access to many classic TV shows which are no longer aired today. I am 29 but it would be fun to watch a classic Disney or WB cartoon. Who wouldn't want to see bugs bunny screw with Elmer Fud or watch Donald Duck have a violent temper tantrum? Even the more recent cartoons from the 80's/90's that aired during the afternoon would be fun to see again. I would pay upward of 8-15 a month for unlimited access to a whole archive.

        But the pricing and terms of use have to be fair:
        -Unlimited views of any show when ever and where ever.
        -Ability to use PC, STB, or wireless device such as a phone or PDA with same account
        -No hidden anything, just a fair flat rate.
        -Cross platform PC player that will run on Windows, Linux and MacOS. In a web browser is fine.
        -Ability to download shows for viewing on other portable media players like iPod/iPhone or Archos jukebox when off the wireless grid.

        I would pay for commercial content but I would never pay to access user content. The only you tube videos I watch are some user made live recordings of a few musicians (Bucketnead, Les Claypool etc.), tech and science videos. Other then that youtube is a cesspool of attention starved people.

    • Re:No (Score:5, Informative)

      by dziban303 ( 540095 ) <> on Sunday May 03, 2009 @11:44AM (#27806569) Homepage
      Not only no, but hell no.
    • I would pay (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mangu ( 126918 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @12:07PM (#27806733)

      The question is not "IF", but "HOW MUCH".

      If youtube offered full-length feature films with good quality, then I'd be ready to pay a reasonable amount. Let's say about the same price I pay to rent a DVD for a 700 MB download. The DVD has a better quality, but downloading is more convenient.

      It's about time the media industry learned about this thing they call a "market" []. It's up to the seller to set a price but it's the buyer who accepts to pay the price or not.

      • Re:I would pay (Score:4, Insightful)

        by sopssa ( 1498795 ) <> on Sunday May 03, 2009 @12:52PM (#27807051) Journal

        With youtube's 720p(*) videos, the quality is actually better than dvd's.

        And yes, I would pay if I could easily watch streaming movies from YouTube, which is obviously the case. No one is gonna pay for the user submitted videos.

        (*) Now someone comes argue its not as good quality as 720p could be, but its still good looking and definitely better than dvds.

      • Re:I would pay (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Yoozer ( 1055188 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @01:36PM (#27807435) Homepage

        If youtube offered full-length feature films with good quality, then I'd be ready to pay a reasonable amount.

        I agree - but only if "We're sorry, this video is not available in your country" is never, ever, ever shown again.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by CastrTroy ( 595695 )
        Yes, but youtube doesn't offer that. That's like saying, would you pay to wait in line for 7 hours. The answer of course is no. Now would you pay to wait in line for 7 hours to receive a free car (assuming cost to wait is less than cost of car). You can't say, I'd pay for Youtube, but only if they compeletly change the content on their website. It doesn't make any sense.
    • by wondershit ( 1231886 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @12:29PM (#27806885)
      Short answer: No.
      Long answer: Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.
    • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

      by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @12:33PM (#27806907)

      Why not? If the price was right, I'd pay. For example, if I could pay $0.50 to get unlimited and permanent watching rights to a TV show episode, or $1 for a movie, I'd certainly consider that. I already pay $10/mo for Netflix, so if they can offer similarly good content, I'd be willing to spend a similar amount of money.

      Note that they're talking about "premium content". You're never going to be charged to watch a prairie dog turn around to dramatic sounding music.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by hairyfeet ( 841228 )

        Nice thought, but don't forget we are talking about He who loveth the DRM, the media companies. As we have seen over and over and over again, they simply don't get it. Mark my words, if this deal goes through it will be for overpriced, locked down all to hell, Windows only needing some bloated "secure viewer" crap that frankly nobody will actually want to deal with. And if they are talking about the user generated crap, which is often about as intelligent as "Ow! My balls!" then that would be a BIG negatory

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by centuren ( 106470 )

        The way YouTube is set up now, legitimate content comes in the form of user channels, where the users are the content owners (e.g. CBS, Discovery Channel, etc have user channels). So far these are free, and in many cases only hold older content, clips or promotional trailers.

        However, I think this setup is a great way to approach premium/paid content. If they could provide convenient means for watching the content (e.g. Boxee, or Netflix via Tivo), I would be happy to pay for a subscription to a channel (I'd

    • Re:No (Score:4, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 03, 2009 @04:35PM (#27808905)

      5 cents a rickroll. I'll be ruined.

  • No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cyberkahn ( 398201 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @10:36AM (#27806001) Homepage

    The simple answer is no. I think people will go to pages were the video is prefaced with a short commercial before paying for Youtube. That's my humble opinion though.

    • Re:No (Score:5, Interesting)

      by N3Roaster ( 888781 ) <> on Sunday May 03, 2009 @10:43AM (#27806077) Homepage Journal

      Yup, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't pay for YouTube. Now, if they set up some sort of system where you could tip the people who put up particularly neat stuff and skimmed a percentage off of that, I could see doing that.

      • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

        by evanbd ( 210358 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @11:38AM (#27806521)

        I would consider paying, but there would be several hurdles. I'd prefer optional tipping, provided there was a dead simple way to tip a tiny amount, but I might consider paying even if it was a more traditional model.

        First, I would only be willing to pay for higher-quality versions. If there isn't a low-quality (ie current normal youtube quality) free, I'm not interested in paying sight unseen.

        Second, it needs to be a true micropayment, and they need to somehow make it really trivial to use. I'm not particularly interested in giving them blanket access to my bank account, and I'm not particularly interested in worrying about how much is left in my special youtube account and periodically transferring money. Yes, I realize that doing both of those is probably impossible right now. Their problem, not mine.

        Third, they need to provide a download option, at least on larger things. I'm not interested in watching a TV show in my browser, or in having it stop halfway through because my Internet connection hiccuped and it couldn't keep streaming.

        And fourth, it needs to be per-video, not per-viewing. I don't want to count the times I've seen something cool on youtube and then later pulled it up to play it for a friend on my computer. I don't mind paying a couple pennies for the good quality version of a neat video, but I mind paying it repeatedly.

      • GPay (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Xelios ( 822510 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @11:47AM (#27806591)
        A few years ago Google filed a patent for a method of making micro payments from a cell phone under the name GPay. The idea being that you would text message a number and have it automatically add $x to your cell phone bill, which would make it into the hands of whoever you just paid for a service or product.

        This system has been around for a while, it's especially common here in Europe, but so far Google hasn't followed through on the implementation. Maybe that will change very soon (I was sure it would be included in the Android phone).

        With a system like this in place it becomes very easy for someone to tip a person for an enjoyable YouTube video. There's been times where I would gladly have given the creator a dollar or two for his video (the John Freeman adventures for example), but there's just no easy way to do it. Give me a number to text that will automatically give the creator a dollar and I'd be all over it, and I wouldn't have a problem with Google skimming a percentage for themselves (as long as it's reasonable). The first John Freeman video has 1.7 million views, if 0.1% of those viewers like it enough to give a dollar that's $1700 for the creator, not a bad hobby, and not a bad source of revenue for Google when you expand it to the millions of videos on YouTube.

        The beauty of this system is there's no need for credit cards or accounts at third party websites, just text a number and the transaction is done. Anywhere, anytime. Whether it's technically and financially feasible I don't know, but it would certainly be a step ahead of a Paypal like service.
      • by toad3k ( 882007 )

        I would. I already pay 17 a month for netflix. The only difference is that youtube streaming actually works on my computer.

        Of course this requires youtube to get real content and not just a couple shows...

    • Nada, nope, No, nein, niet, ne

      Just because they have to make money, doesn't mean I have to pay.
      If you want premium content, you need another brand. Youtube stands for "us", not them!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tedgyz ( 515156 ) *

      Agreed. I have found hulu's ad content to be quite tolerable. I am surprised all the TV networks aren't jumping on the bandwagon. The advertisers get better exposure than the typical commercial hopping performed by tivo users.

      I use beyondtv and have the added benefit if blowing through a whole block of commercials in one swell foop (when the smartskip algorithm works).

    • Re:No (Score:5, Interesting)

      by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Sunday May 03, 2009 @11:08AM (#27806289) Homepage

      I think it depends on exactly how much you're paying for what content. paying for user-generated content? No. Paying for content available for free (ad supported) on Hulu? Probably not.

      But if there were a site where I could pay a small fee (either subscription or per-episode) to watch virtually any show I want, then I'm game. The iTunes model works well enough for me, but the prices are too high. I generally don't want to "buy" TV shows for $2/episode, but if it were something closer to maybe $0.50 for a TV episode "rental", I'd be more interested.

      But for me, at least, paying for TV shows online has to pretty much get to the point where I can replace my cable TV for cheaper than the price of cable TV, and it's at least as convenient. Of course, I don't expect that the content owners will go for that, because they have lots of profitable arrangements with the cable companies.

      • exactly. I currently switch my computer to output to my HD tv, and watch episodes that way. bonus since I bought a may i have a remote that works.

    • Re:No (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SatanicPuppy ( 611928 ) * <> on Sunday May 03, 2009 @11:26AM (#27806431) Journal

      I work in a media corp that is currently in a long-term transition to all ad-supported, and, from experience, I'll tell you it's not going to work.

      The problem with ad supported on the internet is that you can't charge what you charge for a TV spot or a newspaper ad...There are too many people vying for a slice of the internet ad revenue pie. But the majority of the costs for producing your high-end product remain.

      So what's the alternative to charging for it? I mean, I've been thinking about this for (literally) a decade, and I really used to think that we could be self-supporting by ad revenue, and it's just not happening.

      We've been riding the "free" gravy train for a long time. Lot of companies have been using their web presence as a loss leader, or justifying their losses on the potential for future monitization. This is going to end. It simply has to.

      I can very easily see YouTube transitioning to what is effectively an a la carte cable TV provider...You pay a buck a month to the ESPN channel on YouTube, or whatever. The current configuration becomes effectively a massive public access cable channel, supported by subscription-based premium channels.

      And, when it comes down to it, I see nothing wrong with that. I'd cancel my cable service in favor of something like that, in a heartbeat. It'd kill Tivo, and traditional cable.

      • I agree. Look at the ebay purchase of skype. I think everyone is looking to the future for all this money that will be made, but it never will. Most skype users pay 0, and those that do, don't pay very much. Similarly, if I wanted to watch a youtube that cost me even a nickel, I'd pass. Too much trouble. I *know* they'd data mine the crap out of it as soon as I entered payment data and who wants payment data easy to grab from my web browser? Because alot of people would be like me and pass even at a nickel,

        • Re:skype (Score:4, Informative)

          by SatanicPuppy ( 611928 ) * <> on Sunday May 03, 2009 @12:03PM (#27806707) Journal

          I think also, that TV ads some ways, left over from the 3 channels and the "have to get up to change the channel" days.

          Certainly their numbers are falling due to the proliferation of channels. I mean, the TV show watched by the most simultaneous viewers in history, was the M.A.S.H final episode in 1983...It had 106 million viewers. Imagine what an ad during that show cost.

          Now? American Idol has been topping the charts in the last few years with numbers under 40 million on the final episodes...Way under in most cases: their best episode ever only had 36.4 million viewers.

          Ad revenue is nice, but too many people making too much content, and a widely fractured audience, make it less and less profitable.

    • by jav1231 ( 539129 )
      For the same reason people are largely not paying for satellite radio. We've grown accustomed to not paying for it. And why pay Youtube if the content or like content can be viewed elsewhere?
    • No, no, and never! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by macraig ( 621737 )

      My simple answer is the same, but my extended answer is different: I won't then run off to some other ad-supported site and endure advertising... I'll simply stop watching such things in that medium, period. I don't go to YouTube for commercial content at all in the first place, and I'll be damned if I'll pay for the privilege of viewing the non-commercial things I do want to view, not will I tolerate "interstitial" ads for that privilege.

      I'll simply do without, if it comes to that, in the same way that so

    • by 1729 ( 581437 )

      The simple answer is no. I think people will go to pages were the video is prefaced with a short commercial before paying for Youtube. That's my humble opinion though.

      I'd rather pay than sit through ads. I wouldn't pay much: maybe a few pennies for short clips, 5 or 10 cents per video max. I've already got a Google Checkout account, and I wouldn't mind micropayments if they made it easy enough.

      On the other hand, if they started charging for all videos, I'd stop hosting my own videos there. I currently upload videos of my kids so their grandparents can easily watch them. (My in-laws had trouble watching mpegs I had uploaded to my own site.) If they had to pay to watc

  • by ifeelswine ( 1546221 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @10:37AM (#27806007) Journal
    is that no product is going to want to be placed next to a monkey urinating in his own mouth.
    • product is going to want to be placed next to a monkey urinating in his own mouth.

      Right! But that would be great placement for a political campaign spot...
      "Vote for our guy, or you could end up with THIS..." (cue monkey)

  • Take Audiogalaxy for example...

  • by sakdoctor ( 1087155 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @10:37AM (#27806013) Homepage

    $x = number_of_slashdot_readers;

      print 'NO LOL!'

  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Creepy Crawler ( 680178 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @10:38AM (#27806015)

    That content's already free, and much of its public.

    The media companies already have other venues, namely their websites and the channels they own. And bittorrent covers the rest.

    So, why pay, when its free?

    • by Yvanhoe ( 564877 )
      Mod parent up! Bittorrent is youtube's most serious competitor
      • no way (Score:5, Insightful)

        by coryking ( 104614 ) * on Sunday May 03, 2009 @11:05AM (#27806263) Homepage Journal

        Bittorrent is youtube's most serious competitor

        Point me to the bittorrent client that I can embed into any webpage, click "play", and with little to no wait, watch a video. Make sure it can work with 95% of all browsers on the market without installing a plugin*.

        If you think bittorrent competes with Youtube, you dont understand what Youtube does.

        * flash is a plugin, but since you already have it installed, it doesn't count.

        • It's true bittorrent isn't instantaneous, but it's still a competitor because most of us who use BT have huge backlogs of videos. I currently have 300 gigs of TV shows and movies I have not watched, and given the choice between paying Youtube and watching my BT backlog, I would choose the free stuff on my drive.

          And that's unlikely to change. I will always have a backlog, simply because my connection downloads bittorrent video faster than I can watch it. Simply put: I don't need youtube.

    • I would assume that that is where the "premium content" part comes in to play. If there was content that was available only on youtube (yes, I realize that given the current availability of content all over the web this is nigh impossible) I could see some people being willing to pay for it. I would also assume that the content that is user-generated or public domain would remain free (at least I would hope), though it wouldn't surprise me in the least to see user content prefixed with ads. As for media

  • Why not? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vivaoporto ( 1064484 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @10:38AM (#27806017)
    Why not? If the price is right and the content is worth, I have no problems in paying for it, just like I don't have problems paying for a ticket to a movie theater or for a nice and shiny DVD.

    As most things in life, it all depends on the value you get in return for your money.
  • by schon ( 31600 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @10:39AM (#27806027)

    How much of the revenue would be going to the people who produce the videos?

  • Here's the meat. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nesfreak64 ( 1093307 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @10:39AM (#27806033) Journal
    We all know that Youtube costs Google money, that much is certain. But what do you do when you've been offering a free service for this long and then say, "Ok guys, you're going to need to pay for some things." I don't think it'll work. There's too many people that are used to the service being free, and not only that, but there are many alternatives should this arise.
    • Does it? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @10:51AM (#27806139) Journal

      That idea only works if you take the accountant view to running a business. But accounts don't run businesses. Entrepeneurs do.

      What would be the cost to google of NOT having youtube. Shareholders make lousy businessmen even worse then accountants. At least accountants care about the bottom line at the end of the year, not the next quarter.

      Shell recently said it would no longer concetrate on alternative energy. Smart short term move. VERY short term. The world is changing and you never know when you need to be ready to diversify. When Shell invested in alternative energy it cost them money but it was considered to be worth it because IF alternative energies became more important it would stop Shell from becoming UN-important.

      Google didn't buy youtube because it thought youtube made money, it bought it because it saw a future there and wanted to be part of it. What better way to search through online video then to be the one hosting it. You may not like youtube searching but compare it to googles image search. Why do you think the first is more reliable? IF youtube had remained a 3rd party or even worse, had become MULTIPLE small time third parties, might another search engine take over if it became more capable of vinding the vids people wanted?

      Wether google is right in this logic, or has another reason remains to be seen. Maybe they saw a huge future in ads in front of the vids. That means they need to control the vids. No ads in front of vids they don't control. if the ad market comes back or video ads become better, they are to late if they have no way to get them connected.

      So, yes, right now Youtube costs money, but that is called investment. It is what shareholders were supposed to be for.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Narpak ( 961733 )

        So, yes, right now Youtube costs money, but that is called investment. It is what shareholders were supposed to be for.

        This particular investment is costing Google (and its shareholders) about 2 million dollars a day; subtract revenue from that number and they end up spending about 1.65 million a day. Google Losing up to $1.65M a Day on YouTube []. Now roughly calculated that means that Google will lose about 600 million dollars this year keeping YouTube alive. If I was an investor in Google I would be getting exceptionally sceptical to this particular investment.

        Unless bandwidth becomes drastically cheaper in the immediate

  • Nope (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @10:39AM (#27806035)

    Whether I'd pay or not, charging for videos would kill the platform. Why? Because there's a (more than one, actually) free alternative. Why would someone pay money for getting exactly what they get other places? You might get a few people to pay, in general, though, it would mean that people move elsewhere.

    No, "what about Windows and Linux" does not count. YouTube doesn't come with your PC, YouTube has nothing you can't get elsewhere (like, say, Windows Games before the advent of Wine, and even with it). There is no "YouTube only" content that is so important to people that they wouldn't move to another video hoster in the blink of an eye.

  • by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @10:41AM (#27806057)

    It goes on the list right after

    paying for slashdot commentary on my posts.

  • It worked for them (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WilyCoder ( 736280 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @10:43AM (#27806069)

    Hey, it worked for Napster, right?


  • Yes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jbolden ( 176878 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @10:44AM (#27806081) Homepage

    I can see a system of inexpensive youtube videos tied to google payment. At say $.05 for a 10 minute video I can easily imagine not worrying about it. The problem is that if they are greedy and it is say $1 for a 10 minute video this will kill the model. I can also see that working well for low distribution content. 10k people at say $.25 per yr x 500 shows is not a bad revenue stream.

    The standards for a paysite are much higher than for a free site. That means customer service. I do agree that this isn't likely to happen and the result is going to be that content fragments to dozens of sites all indexed ironically enough by google.

    • I don't see it working like that, except maybe for movies. It'd be much easier to set up "premium" channels, and charge a monthly for access to those.

      Lot of people seem to be looking at this as "we're going to monetize our current content" when I think what they're saying is, they're going to start offering content that is already being monetized in other forums. The one thing YouTube really lacks (besides a revenue stream, hah) is traditional, copyrighted, media.

  • They may get paying customers by adding a premium membership, where commercials were removed and speeds were better. If this premium membership also allowed access to a number of full-length movies, series etc, they may have a winner on their hands.
  • ...not.
  • Maybe (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mariushm ( 1022195 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @10:48AM (#27806115)

    If the Youtube video would be the movie showing right now in cinema, in 720p @ 3-4mbps, then yes, I would pay up to $1-1.5 to see it.

    Without any kind of commercials. Not once. Anytime I want (I would be allowed to view only one of the movies I bought at a time so it wouldn't be abused).

    The reality is movies won't be available outside US anyway, because of all the deals movie studios make with local distributors and resellers so I couldn't care less.

  • It depends (Score:5, Interesting)

    by OpenSourced ( 323149 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @10:49AM (#27806121) Journal

    I would certainly pay a moderate amount for a High-quality, big pipe site with a wide selection of videos. And I mean wide, none of that "its from this provider, so it's in this other service". Of course with no DRM, I want to see the films at my mom's where there is no broadband. I say "a moderate amount" is a flat rate of about twenty dollars a month, perhaps up to forty if you use really a lot of bandwidth.

    In the other corner, rather more likely, seeing what's on offer today, we could have an anemic selection of videos, many of them old, most of them in less-than-optimal quality (meaning you can get them in better quality in bittorrent), with a time lag for new releases, lots of DRM, and lots of service hiccups too.

    Well, I can wait.

  • This is so stupid. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FlyingSquidStudios ( 1031284 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @10:52AM (#27806149) Homepage
    YouTube could much more easily make money by charging a small fee to UPLOAD video to YouTube. If they charged you $1 per video upload, they'd make a mint and most people would be happy to pay it.
    • by Molochi ( 555357 )

      Would that prevent a future "video response" wave of Soldjaboy dancer videos? Rickrolls? Videoblog screeds? AMVs?

      Lessig would be sad, but not me.

  • Nope (Score:5, Interesting)

    by coryking ( 104614 ) * on Sunday May 03, 2009 @10:53AM (#27806151) Homepage Journal

    Pay to view? Sorry. There isn't much quality content on youtube worth paying for.

    Pay to post? That might work. People who pay could have more control over their content. They could keep it from being compressed to hell, do things like swap the youtube logo with their own, have embedded links in their content, etc... I bet there is money in that market. But I'll tell you one thing... there ain't a damn thing on youtube I'd pay for. Cover bands doing cheesy remixes, teenagers getting their 15-minutes, and videos of cute pandas eating bamboo aren't worth paying for.

    • Pay to post high quality is absolutely where it's at. Let the poster decide on commercial content. If the users don't want to sit through the commercials, they won't watch (and they'll rank you down.)

    • There isn't much content worth paying for, because there is no mechanism for making people pay for the content. If they create a mechanism for making people pay for content, then content worth paying for on YouTube becomes economically feasible.

      I actually think the upload fee is genius. Makes perfect sense, and is a way to inoffensively monetize "free" content.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by w1d3 ( 1118983 )

      and videos of cute pandas eating bamboo aren't worth paying for.

      What's wrong with you?

    • Re:Nope (Score:4, Funny)

      by Ant P. ( 974313 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @09:10PM (#27811197) Homepage

      Nah, I have a better idea - make them pay to post comments. And then put up a dedicated forum for complaining about it and charge to post there too.
      They'll be rolling in cash within hours.

  • Rick Rolled (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rocky1138 ( 758394 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @10:57AM (#27806187) Homepage
    How would you feel if you pay per video and got Rick Rolled? Or accidentally watched a Chris Crocker video? This will never work for user-submitted videos. Only if they offer HD, full-episode shows that I want to watch on any PC I own with no DRM would I even consider looking at it.
  • by icepick72 ( 834363 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @11:02AM (#27806241)
    I MIGHT take the option of making a micro payment to make the video ad-free for me. That way anybody can access videos. It's not easy to charge for a user-generated video across the board because that will likely diminish ability to share videos. For example, now I post videos to my blog, facebook page, email the link to many people, etc. To require my viewers to pay for what I think is neat or nifty is slightly absurd especially when they're doing the same thing with their video links.
  • Pay for streaming of full length TV shows/movies/whatever else YouTube can make a deal with? Possibly.

    Pay for seeing the latest WTF webcam gag? No.

    "Just like before, except now you're paying for it" is a really rotten value proposition. The sites that try moving to payment/subscriptions yet don't do anything different are just making a quick suicide, User's don't care if your numbers aren't adding up, if they are to pay more they want more. But I think google knows, they're trying in the longest to extract

  • If I get rickrolled, will I get my money back?
  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @11:07AM (#27806279) Journal

    How can I pay a small amount for a vid when there is no existing world-wide service to pay a small amount without it costing me a fortune?

    1 dollar (iTune cost) for a vid? Like hell. That is way to much and already in that case the costs of the actual transaction makes up an insane part. Imagine if your shopping for a new coat cost 50 bucks to pay with your bank card.

    That is the reason micro-payments have not caught on. It is not that people would mind paying a a nickle, it is that paying a nickle costs 25 cents.

    Perhaps google should go in the banking business to break through this. The banks sure as hell aren't going to. In the netherlands we got the cheapest pay system (PIN) and that is being replaced in the future because .... well because a working reliable secure cheap system just ain't good enough. We got to get the unreliable, not working expensive system everyone else uses.

  • The majority of YouTube video is so worthless I couldn't imagine ever paying for it. Sure, those forwards you get from people are cute and/or amusing for about 5 seconds, but nothing I would ever want to pay for.

    On the other hand, perhaps giving users the opportunity to make some money in the form of micro-payments could actually increase the quality of what is made available. In this case, it would definitely be worth it. I would just like to see the money going to individual user-content-creators, not

  • The "entertainment" on youtube isn't good enough for me to want to pay. I'd rather buy my content on DVD or Bluray, with their higher-quality video, and use that to fill-in my spare time than pay youtube for grainy vids.

    Or just take up reading books with the radio playing in the background - a cheap form of entertainment.

  • Google confirms it...
  • With a service like Hulu, definitely.

    With a service like Youtube, maybe. There are some videos worth seeing, but the vast amount are rubbish. Without a good preview feature (num of hits and rating is not a good indicator), I'd just watch a commercial before-hand, and 99% of the time I wouldn't return to watch that video. For returning videos I would if I could see them in high-quality and the price was rather cheap (I'm thinking in terms of dime/minute). Let me load up my account with some money, and then

  • Let's just think about this for a moment. Would anyone pay for this []? Or this []? Or ?

    I didn't think so, either.

  • Charging for access with a global economic crisis will turn it from YouTube into YouLube, because X-rated content appears to be the only thing selling right now. Given the quality of their age control mechanism I suspect it will take just over 0.43 msec for the first lawsuit to appear.

    To put it mildly, I would question the value of that idea. I understand the drivers, but there must be other things that can be done.

    Just my two cents.

  • But how does the concurrence do it? Vimeo? MetaCafe? DailyMotion? Surely one of them must be _not_ losing money.

    Plus, it's important to keep in mind that there's very little that makes YouTube better than Vimeo, if anything at all besides being the defacto leader. Sounds to me like YouTube is at a moment where it could lose to a concurrent who's ready to take the #1 spot just like MySpace lost to Facebook a few years ago.

  • by ouder ( 1080019 )
    The only real way to answer this question is to give it a try. Slapping a fee on everything could hurt the YouTube brand a lot, so it needs to be done slowly and starting at the fringes. I think they should let content providers charge subscription fees for their channels. Of course, YouTube/Google would get a cut of the revenue. Regular viewers shouldn't complain because this is new content above and beyond what is currently offered. YouTube could assess how users react and everyone could get a feel f
  • Watching a YouTube video is already a painful expreience. The very low quality of the video, and the extremely small size of the video frame just don't add up to a good viewing experience. So why should I pay for such crap. I won't. I'll just keep watching the free sites like Hulu. Sure there's a few commercial breaks in the program, but they are at least reasonable. 4, 30 second, single advertiser commercial breaks per TV show episode is far better than the massive advertising overdose that cable TV

  • If they get a selection of high quality videos that are comparable to what I already regularly watch on TV, and if it is priced in a way makes economic sense, I'd seriously consider dropping cable and just watch what I want online.

    I figure I probably actually care to watch no more 6 or 7 different shows a week. At a price of $0.25 per show, that would cut my cable bill significantly. Plus, having the option to not pay when I'm not watching anything is also nice. The rest of the stuff I watch more randoml

  • by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Sunday May 03, 2009 @12:23PM (#27806847) Homepage Journal

    They want us to pay for dubious quality, with unknown content videos created by complete amateurs? What are they smoking? Thats a good way to kill it off, even better then the 'IP cops' that now monitor it.

    If they cant pay for it via the offensive "commercials" that have been added, then they need to get out of the way to make room for someone else who can.

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