Pay-to-view subscription packages could well be the future of YouTube, with the online video service considering charging users to access movies, TV shows and news, according to a senior Google executive.
Channels 4 and Five in the UK have already cut deals with Google-owned YouTube to show full-length shows online for free.
Yet now it seems that the ad-funded model that YouTube has been based on to date could well soon be married with a more traditional subscription-fee model for access to exclusive content.
Google executive David Eun looks after such partnerships with broadcasters and movie studios – and has confirmed with Reuters that paid subscription was a viable option for the future of YouTube.
"We're making some interesting bets on long-form content; not all content is accessible to us with the advertising model," said the Google exec.
Despite its massive popularity, YouTube is estimated by analysts to lose as much as $470m (£288m) in 2009