— -- It looks like YouTube is about to take a big step towards monetizing its videos.
YouTube is planning to launch paid subscriptions for a couple dozen channels as soon as April, according to a new report in AdAge citing "multiple people familiar with the plans."
The online video site has reportedly reached out to a "small group" of channels asking them to apply to be among the first paid channels. There is also talk that YouTube might charge for live events like concerts and libraries of older episodes.
AdAge reports that the initial subscription costs would be between $1 and $5 per month. These channels would also have the option to show ads.
Right now, this effort is being billed as an "experiment," but it's one that YouTube reps have been suggesting for a long time. YouTube's CEO Salar Kamangar teased the idea multiple times last year and noted during the Reuters Media and Technology Summit in June that it had "seen demand from from the kind of networks that have smaller audiences on cable."
By effectively launching a-la-cart and pay-per-view options for consuming video content, YouTube would likely bring in more money from ad dollars and a cut of the subscription revenue.
YouTube did not immediately respond to our requests for comment.