Youtube, by far the most popular video sharing and viewing website so far, has decided that it might like cold hard cash more than popularity. Two articles have recently come out speaking about the likelihood of Youtube charging per subscription or channel. AdAge has an article discussing how some companies have already been prompted to think of channels and how much to charge, while Android Police have discovered a piece of code in the latest YouTube app that checks to see if someone has paid for the subscription or channel. While some people might just say that it is the inevitable as a company grows it wants to gain as much revenue as possible, the real issue here is turning a free service into a semi-free service. It is already enough of a change that we now have to deal with advertisements before, during, or after a video on Youtube, but to actually charge extra for particular videos will only increase other video sharing and viewing websites popularity and revenue. Websites similar to Youtube will most likely jettison in fame to the financial gap in the two services, as well as possibly commit various forms of piracy in order to allow their viewers to watch videos that might cost people money if they were to go onto Youtube.
Maybe this negative press will make Youtube re-configure their current projection, or it might make them change their minds entirely. Or maybe they will just jump the shark and do it regardless until the consequences of such a choice force them to re-think their methods.Only time will tell.