Looking to be more mobile friendly, YouTube weighs offering ad-free SVOD

YouTube could soon offer a paid-subscription business model for some of its content, eschewing ads in an effort to be more mobile friendly.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki told an audience at the Code Mobile conference in Half Moon Bay, Calif. that half of all YouTube views are now from mobile devices, and that the company wanted ot make sure those visitors had the best experience possible.

“YouTube right now is ad-supported, which is great because it has enabled us to scale to a billion users. But there’s going to be a point where people don’t want to see the ads. … We’re thinking about how to give users options.”

Wojcicki said the discussion was still in early stages.

YouTube has allowed some content providers to create subscription-based channels and to charge a fee to watch their content since 2013. The program has gotten off to a slow start but has since been expanded. YouTube itself has never offered a paid-subscription option that excluded ads.

Wojcicki said YouTube has been “thinking about other ways it might make sense for us,” pointing out that “if you look at media over time, most of them have both ads and subscription services.”

Wojcicki took over as YouTube CEO in February.

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Editor of Videomind and Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn