YouTube has launched its first tier of subscription-based video channels, as predicted earlier in the month. “We’re launching a pilot program for a small group of partners that will offer paid channels on YouTube with subscription fees starting at $0.99 per month,” explained the company. It seems the initiative is US-only for now, with Sesame Street, National Geographic and UFC among the brands on the pilot. Music? It’s not to the fore, although Qello Concerts and Rap Battle Network are among the 53 channels taking part in the initiative. All paid channels offer 14-day free trials, and most of their publishers are continuing to offer free videos alongside their paid content – it’s more of a paywall option than a switch from free to paid. “Once you subscribe from a computer, you’ll be able to watch paid channels on your computer, phone, tablet and TV, and soon you’ll be able to subscribe to them from more devices,” explains YouTube.

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