YouTube star: Charging a 'bad idea'

07/05/13

JJ

The man behind one of the UK's most popular YouTube channels says charging people to watch videos is "a really bad idea".

Nineteen-year-old JJ has more than two million subscribers to his KSIOlajidebt channel.

He said that whilst the plan, reportedly due to be announced by YouTube, could work for big artists he "won't be doing it any time soon".

YouTube has confirmed it's looking into creating a new "subscription platform".

It's a whole new skill set to develop, to convince people to actually take out their credit card
Robert Kyncl
YouTube vice-president

The plan could see content providers such as TV companies making videos available for a monthly fee.

YouTube executives have hinted several times at a plan to launch paid channels.

A spokesperson said YouTube is looking to "provide our creators with another vehicle to generate revenue".

JJ said charging people to watch his videos would risk alienating his audience.

"I like it that it's free for people to subscribe, whenever you put money in the way it brings conflict and will just bring in this divide," he said.

'Generate revenue'

YouTube allows users in the UK to rent major film titles and US users have been able to buy and rent films and TV episodes since 2008.

It is reported that users could pay as little as $1.99 (£1.28) per month to access videos from certain providers.

YouTube insists the new charging model will benefit those using the site to watch videos, not merely those publishing content.

A spokesperson said the company had nothing to announce at this time but added "We're looking into creating a subscription platform that could bring even more great content to YouTube for our users to enjoy..."

YouTube logo
Image caption YouTube claims to have one billion unique users to the site each month

They added the new model would "provide our creators with another vehicle to generate revenue from their content, beyond the rental and ad-supported models we offer."

JJ agrees the move to charge users could be good for YouTube.

"It puts it on a more professional platform and will push TV even further out of the limelight than it already is," he said.

In March, YouTube vice-president Robert Kyncl told reporters: "It's a whole new skill set to develop, to convince people to actually take out their credit card."

YouTube, which is owned by Google, claims it has more than one billion unique users each month.

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