May 9, 2013 at 5:20 PM ET
YouTube, once merely a repository for user-submitted videos, has become a full-fledged content network, and they've finally added the long-rumored paid channels. A bevy of kids' shows and highly targeted video networks are trying their luck with the 99-cent-per-month service.
Shows on Google-owned YouTube have long been supported by ads around video, but some content creators would rather have their audiences pay a buck rather than pollute their page with unsightly ads.
This first wave is fairly niche stuff: Sport-specific shows, content for kids, and other things with a dedicated audience. "Sesame Street" will be launching with full episodes soon to augment shows like "Franklin" and "Treehouse," meaning parents could let their kids go nuts on these safe, ad-free channels. On the other end of the spectrum, UFC fanatics will have easy access to past fights without having worrying about cable or DVRs.
Subscriptions will be rolling out soon as a self-serve option, however, so other channels can take a shot at monetizing their viewers. Just be aware that YouTube takes 45 percent of that money, according to the revenue split reported by Ad Age.
If users aren't sure whether a channel is worth their time, they can try a two-week trial, an option that will always be available. You can see a full list of paid channels here.
Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is coldewey.cc.