We've had a pretty clear indication that it was coming, and YouTube has now gotten official with one of the biggest changes to the way it does business to date. It's today kicking off a pilot program for paid subscriptions, which initially consists of a small group of partners offering channels that start at $0.99 per month. Those will include channels ranging from Sesame Street to the UFC (just over 50 in all at the moment), each of which include a 14-day free trial, and some of which come at a discounted rate if you pay by the year instead of per-month.
YouTube's promising to roll things out more broadly in the coming weeks, with qualifying partners able to take advantage of the option as a self-service feature and others invited to sign up if they're interested in going the paid route. Naturally, you'll be able to view channels on the usual range of devices once you subscribe, but you will have to do the actual subscribing on a computer for now (subscribing on others devices is promised to be coming soon). The company's also quick to point out that it's still early days for the service, noting that it'll have more to say as it gets feedback from users and content partners.