YouTube Builds Paywall, Kills Create App Partnership

3 minute read
Anthony Myers avatar

Sorry, cord cutters. If you got rid of a Comcast subscription and instead watch lots of YouTube, Google is about to reach into your wallet because some of the most popular channels could be going to a paywall format.

YouTube Paid Subscriptions

"But I already have to watch YouTube ads" will no doubt be a popular lament in the coming weeks. It's true that many YouTube channels do make some cash off of PPC ads, but because video production is so expensive, the biggest producers need more steady income. Oh, and Google will likely take nearly half that subscription cash, too.

YouTube could be looking to charge between US$ 1 to $5 per month to subscribers of specific channels like Fullscreen or Geek and Sundry, for example. But YouTube could end up charging for more than just episodes of popular channels. Pay walls could go up for things like content libraries, access to live events (pay-per-view) or maybe even DIY and financial advice shows.

What's not clear is what will happen to the advertising format on the channels that go subscription. It could be an option that pay channels choose to have ads or not, but we won't know until it officially debuts. For small channels, YouTube won't likely be putting up a pay wall anytime soon.

As for advertisers and marketers, it might depend on how popular the channels are. At the beginning of this program, it looks like YouTube is targeting the biggest production houses, and there are even rumors it will try to poach lower tier cable companies.

Create App Killed Off

Create was a partnership that allowed producers to build videos and animations, wrap it in an iframe HTML wrapper and then upload the whole thing via the YouTube API.

After January, the only part of the service that will still be active is the API service. The video's made with Create won't be highlighted by YouTube anymore, and the iframe integration will go as well. Any apps already built with Create will be able to use the API just like any other third-party tool when the partnership ends.

Learning Opportunities


One True Media is one of three Create apps that will die at the end of January.

Germans Getting Blocked on YouTube

A German music rights authority called GEMA is now blocking more than 60 percent of YouTube's popular videos over digital rights claims, an enterprising developer has discovered. GEMA has long been a sore subject for German YouTube devotees, but an app built by a developer called OpenDataCity can see just how much of YouTube is declard off limits by GEMA.

GEMA wants YouTube to pay it for accessing disputed content, and YouTube is in return offering a portion of its ad revenue. GEMA appears to not like the offer, and so YouTube is preemptively blocking that content in Germany. YouTube is now being sued by GEMA, and Germany now gets more YouTube content blocked than either the South Sudan or even the Vatican, one German newspaper pointed out.