As news corporations find it harder to make big bucks in the digital world, competing against the citizen journalists of the social media world, the debate around the potential success of paid-for content increases.
Of course some have already committed to it. Yet, none with great conviction. So the latest rumors given credence by a report in the New York Post, could set the debate alight with even bigger flames.
The rumors are that with Google keen to push it’s premium content program for YouTube, it may look towards a pay-wall and paid-for viewing to entice some of the biggest players in traditional tv into online. Nobody expects YouTube to suddenly start forcing every user to pay per view – Google’s business heads know the importance of free content to drive audience for other paid-for services. What it may very seriously be considering is premium content available for a fee and it may follow very familiar broadcast models to dip its toe into the water.
Just as now you may pay a ‘box-office’ fee to watch the big fight, or perish the thought have to watch the big game on your traditional cable box, YouTube could soon be offering similar sporting options at a pay-per-view online. Makes sense doesn’t it. And with YouTube’s popularity ever high, you can see it working quickly and effectively too. Traditional broadcasters who see these pay-per-view options as great money-spinners, could soon find their party hi-jacked.
For a viewer looking for a wider range of events – possibly live concerts, live debates too – this could be great news. No need to watch at home, you could watch on your phone or tablet, and with more competition hopefully the end cost to the viewer should be lower too.
We will wait and see.