YouTube has confirmed it will stop offering paid channels, which were launched in 2013 as one of the video portal’s first attempts at charging for content.
The service let people pay a monthly fee to access individual YouTube channels from providers such as National Geographic and Sesame Street. However, the service was not popular with viewers and will end in December. The video-makers who currently host their content behind a pay-wall will have the option of removing them or making them available for free.
The closure does not affect YouTube Red, the website’s own subscription service that offers exclusive programmes and removes advertisements from YouTube, currently only available in the US.
One of the ways YouTube is now exploring to replace paid channels is a ‘patronge’ model. The site began testing sponsorships with select YouTube Gaming creators in 2015, and is now making this additional revenue stream available to all of YouTube Gaming. Users can sponsor a creator for $4.99 a month, and in return get custom chat badges and emojis as well as access to a sponsor-only chats.