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How Much Would You Pay to Watch a YouTube Video?

The world's biggest video site is 100 percent free. Some people -- including the ones who run YouTube -- think you may want to pay for some of it.

Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

The world’s biggest video site lets anyone in the world watch just about any video in the world, for free. And YouTube keeps adding more free videos at a staggering pace: Its users upload 100 hours of clips every minute.

But a lot of people in the video business — including the people who run YouTube — think video-watchers may want to pay to watch some of this stuff.


Note that none of the scenarios above involve removing free videos from YouTube altogether. Even people who want to pull videos away from YouTube for exclusive windows assume that the world’s biggest video site will remain the world’s biggest video site and help create demand for paid products.

But it will be very interesting to see how much, if any, video YouTube users are willing to pay for. If they can pay at all — YouTube’s core users are teenagers who have lots of energy but may find it difficult to make online payments.

This article originally appeared on

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