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Yay, Paid YouTube Channels! Oh wait...

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Google has officially announced the first lineup of paid subscription channels. As you'd expect, this move has attracted mixed responses. The world seems full of people who decline to understand the cost of producing decent quality content (the "I need everything for free, immediately" crowd). These people have the knives out for those who are trying to find some way to make quality content generation viable.

I understand that some content can be made very cheaply and there are producers who are making money from YouTube's advertising model. However there is a severe limit to the type of content that can be made like this. Honestly, when's the last time you saw a web series that has production values on a par with Game of Thrones? Answer: Never, because it can't be done. For programs on this level, there has to be a lot more income per view than can be provided by instream advertisements.

So, eager to support some of my favourite content providers, I headed over to check out the list of pilot channels to subscribe to. Guess what?

This paid channel is unavailable in your country.
This paid channel is unavailable in your country.
This paid channel is unavailable in your country.

Every. single. channel.

Well that's that then. The bane of honest consumers strikes again - lack of access to legal content. Yet again, the consumers who want to do it properly, pay for content legally and support the industry are turned away.

Where do these people turn to? Piracy.

I understand that the transition to a global digital media environment is difficult. I understand that international licensing problems create delays but enough is enough. This problem has been serious for more than a decade and still nothing has been done to stem the bleeding. People are turning to piracy in their millions because the big players refuse to create an easy international licensing scheme (or fix any of the other things they do that encourage piracy). We're creating generations of digital thieves because it's too difficult or impossible for most of the world to buy content legally.

When will this madness stop?

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General , Video

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