Google is reportedly having a hard time getting its YouTube subscription service off the ground

Celena Chong

Google is having trouble getting TV networks and YouTube stars to support its new video subscription model for YouTube, reports The Information.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki spoke at conferences all last year about a different YouTube experience where users would pay monthly for an ad-free version of the site. 

But YouTube is having trouble getting networks on board with this idea. That's because the new model would conflict with their existing contracts with other sites like Hulu and Netflix, which have sometimes required exclusives.

YouTube stars are also hesitant to follow the idea because they're worried subscriptions will cannibalize their ad revenue, which is where they make most of their money today.

Google has been quiet about how much this video subscriptions service would cost, and has told some providers if they don't participate in the service, they'll either be forced to forgo the traditional revenue split from YouTube selling ads, or they'll have to set their channels to private which will make them impossible to find through search.

The concern follows a rough start for Music Key, a subscription service for music videos on YouTube. The service was supposed to launch last year, but remains in invitation-only beta, and will face tough competition from streaming music services like Apple Music and Spotify.

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