According to Digiday, the social media site plans to let publishers sell subscriptions to their news content.
The reports follow a blog post from YouTube’s Susan Wojcicki in February, where the CEO said the platform would work with the media “to extend their audiences through time shifting, new geographies and new users”.
“We’re also boosting awareness of subscription services, sports and news highlights, long-form content, and movies with trailers and clips” the post reads.
In 2018, YouTube announced it would be investing $25 million in global news organisations, with the platform providing funding to support them to “train staff on video best practices, enhance production facilities and develop formats optimized for online video”.
The funding was in addition to the site introducing a ‘Breaking News’ shelf on its homepage and ‘Top News’ feature in search results in 17 countries. It also followed the launch of the Google News Initiative “to work with the news industry to help journalism thrive in the digital age” earlier that year.
Digiday reports that the subscriptions tool will be similar to channel memberships, a feature launched in 2018 which sees subscribers pay a monthly sum in exchange for additional benefits from creators.
Their article also goes on to add that YouTube plans to connect the Subscribe With Google service to subscriptions, which enables users to sign up to a publisher’s content with their Google account.
While Digiday says the platform plans to test the subscription tool later this year, YouTube is yet to comment on the reports.