YouTube just made public it’s first round of initiaties into the video sharing platform’s much-anticipated paid subscription service. 53 channels are currently up for the public’s viewing pleasure to the tune of $0.99 to $5.99 per month, with slight discounts given to buyers who purchase yearly packages.
One of those 53 channels is TYT Plus, a premium offering from The Young Turks Network, a media company and multi-channel YouTube network that now holds a trio of enviable honors sure to make at least a few other YouTube creators jealous (and that’s in addition to TYT’s recent honor of one billion views).
One, The Young Turks’ Town Square channel was part of YouTube’s $100 Million Original Channels initiative. Two, the same Town Square channel was one of the few channels part of that initiative to be renewed by YouTube. And now three, TYT Plus appears to be one of the only YouTube Subscription Channel in this initial lineup produced by independent, online content creators. Here’s a peek:
We caught up with Steven Oh, COO of The Young Turks to ask him how TYT became a part of this initial lineup, what he hopes to gain by adding a subscription package to his program offerings, and what type of content will be on the new channel.
Tubefilter: How long has TYT Plus been in the works?
Steven Oh: YouTube invited us to participate in the launch of its paid subscription service a couple of months ago. We agreed to do be a part of the initial launch because we love experimenting with new ideas and formats.
TF: How’d you decide on the $4.99 price point?
SO: It is half the price of our existing subscription service on our own website, TYTnetwork.com, which offers much of what is on TYT Plus as well as the full 2-hour daily show. The 2-hour daily show is available, commercial-free, as a downloadable audio or video podcast on our website via subscription only. TYT Plus does not have this 2-hour daily show, so it’s half the price.
TF: TYT has used paid subscriptions before. Is that why you were included in this first round?
SO: Yes and no. TYT was included by YouTube in the initial launch primarily because we are very reliable content creators who have been creating great content consistently for many years. The fact that we have our own subscription service was an added bonus, but not a determining factor.
TF: What’s a success here for you?
SO: My understanding is that YouTube now has 1 billion monthly unique users, and YouTube will turn it’s giant marketing machine to market these paid subscription channels to those billion users.
My hope is that thru TYT Plus, people all over the world who don’t already know TYT will discover us and watch either the free content on YouTube.com/TYT or the paid content on YouTube.com/TYTPlus. So for me, “success” is not about how many paying subscribers we get on TYT Plus, it’s about extending our brand to more people throughout the YouTube ecosystem.
TF: How much of your audience do you plan to convert to paying subscribers?
SO: There is no plan to convert any particular % of our existing audience. We simply want to super-serve our fans who crave extra TYT content.
TF: What extra/bonus content will you release on the channel?
SO: We’ll have the following content:
- Post Games: Each day, Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian or other staff members do a special Post Game where they share their personal stories and insights about any topic that they want to share. It’s a great way for our audience to connect with the various personalities of TYT.
- TYT Underground: These are behind-the-scenes videos of production meetings, random staff interactions, bloopers, and other funny/memorable moments that happen every day at our studios.
- TYT Classic: These are the best clips from prior years that are revisited by Cenk and Ana where they reflect back on the moment and explain why/what was happening in the video. It’s a nostalgic look at TYT‘s most memorable moments.
- Extra Video Clips: Each day, when we do a 2 hour live show, we clip out approximately 8 to 10 clips and put them up on our main channel. However, there are additional clips that have no home because we don’t want to flood our channel with too many videos in one day. Well, now these clips will live on TYT Plus.
If you like The Young Turks and are in possession of a major credit card and a Google Wallet account, head on over to TYT Plus, give their premium programming a watch, and be sure to let us know what you think.