YouTube, which spent the first 10 years of its life as a free service, is getting ready to start selling tickets.
Google’s video site appears to be finalizing launch plans for its long-in-the-making subscription service, and industry sources say they’ve been told to expect a launch near the end of October.
A blast email from YouTube to content owners, telling them they have to agree to new terms by Oct. 22 or their “videos will no longer be available for public display or monetization in the United States,” helps support that timeline.
But YouTube, which floated the idea of a new subscription service nearly a year ago, has never publicly committed to a timeline. Last spring, YouTube executives were telling content owners they were aiming for a mid-summer launch. It’s possible the launch could keep slipping, even beyond 2015.
Note that we’re referring to a single service, not multiple ones. Sources say that’s because YouTube intends to bundle two different services into one offering: An update of its music service, which it launched in beta as YouTube Music Key last fall, and another service, yet to launch, that will give users the ability to watch anything on YouTube without seeing ads.