YouTube may let news outlets sell subscriptions to their own services

YouTube throws a bone to the news industry.

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LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 4: Detail of the YouTube logo outside the YouTube Space studios in London, taken on June 4, 2019. (Photo by Olly Curtis/Future via Getty Images)
Olly Curtis/Future via Getty Images

You’re probably used to news outlets on YouTube asking you to subscribe to their channels. Before long, though, they might hawk their own offerings. Digiday sources say YouTube is creating a tool that would let publishers sell subscriptions to their in-house digital services through their YouTube channels. Talks have yet to hash out details like the revenue split, but it would only give you perks from that publisher, not the YouTube platform.

The outlets expect that YouTube would share user information like names and email addresses with publishers, much like it already does through Subscribe With Google. News companies could then create a direct relationship with you much like they would if you’d subscribed through their websites.

YouTube declined to comment to Digiday.

News providers are in a difficult position on the video service. While they can make money from ads, marketers are unsurprisingly wary of having their promos run alongside sensitive topics. Subscriptions to their own services could offset some of that skittishness from advertisers, even if only a fraction of viewers ever sign up. That, in turn, could help YouTube attract more news publications, or encourage those already present to post more videos.

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