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YouTube preparing to offer paid subscriptions this year: report

Visitors walk past a YouTube stand during the International Record Music Publishing and Video Music Market (MIDEM) in Cannes January 27, 201
Visitors walk past a YouTube stand during the International Record Music Publishing and Video Music Market (MIDEM) in Cannes January 27, 201

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - YouTube, the video website owned by Google Inc, plans to offer paid subscriptions to some of the content on its site later this year, according to a media report.

YouTube has reached out to several video producers, asking them to submit applications to create for-pay "channels," according to a report in AdAge on Tuesday that cited anonymous sources.

The first such channels could be available to consumers by the second quarter for between $1 a month and $5 a month, AdAge reported.

YouTube, the world's No. 1 video website, has been moving to add professional-grade video programs to the vast archive of amateur, home-shot videos that made the site popular. The current crop of such channels is available to consumers for free and supported by advertising that appears alongside the videos.

YouTube has hinted in the past that it was considering offering subscription-based paid content. YouTube boss Salar Kamangar told Reuters in June that there was strong demand among certain YouTube video producers, such as video game networks, to offer fee-based programs.

"They have such a big audiences that they can start to segment their audiences into those that are willing to pay a higher amount" for things like new gaming tricks, Kamangar said at the time.

He also said that cable channels with small audiences could potentially be offered to consumers through YouTube on an "a la carte" basis.

YouTube was not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting By Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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