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Would you pay-per-view for YouTube?

Google is set to offer a video subscription service for YouTube, with the company set to make a big announcement in the coming week.

According to various newspaper and online reports, an email sent to media let the (YouTube celebrity) cat out of the bag today.

YouTube is "looking into creating a subscription platform that could bring even more great content to YouTube for our users to enjoy and provide our creators with another vehicle to generate revenue from their content, beyond the rental and ad-supported models we offer," a YouTube spokesman said in an email today.

While the video site is known mainly for advertisement-sponsored free content, Google may launch a subscription service for premium content to rival the likes of Hulu and Netflix, and Quickflix in Australia.

The plans would see YouTube charge for as many as 50 YouTube channels, with viewers to be charged US$1.99 a month, according to The Financial Times.

The move wouldn't be entirely without precedent, for some time now the company has been offering some partners in select countries the opportunity to offer their content on rental.

Viewers can also pay to watch rental video ad-free for a designated time period.

YouTube was created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005 while in November 2006 the website was bought by Google for US$1.65 billion, and now operates as a subsidiary of Google.

Stay tuned for an official announcement from YouTube, hopefully later this week.


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