Google Inc.’s YouTube may give viewers the option to watch ad-free videos for a fee, a big change from the advertising-only approach that turned it into the world’s largest online video website. The change is being led by Susan Wojcicki, a veteran Google executive who spent years on the advertising side of the company. She took over YouTube earlier this year and has been looking for ways to generate more revenue and profit from the video site, which Google acquired for $1.65 billion in 2006.
There are lots of mobile apps where users can choose to be exposed to ads, or choose to pay to avoid that, she added. “That’s actually a pretty interesting model because it’s giving users choice,” she said. “We’re thinking about how to give users options.”
About a year ago, YouTube allowed content providers to create their own subscription-based channels on the video site. The channels let video creators charge a fee to watch their content. While the paid channel initiative got off to a slow start, Google expanded it in October 2013, opening it to more content partners and additional countries.
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