From YouTube to YouPay

There have been murmurings from YouTube for a little while now about the possibility of providing pay-per-view style channels in addition to free content and now seems to be the time.


YouTube videos are fast becoming an attractive prospect for marketing shows. They are free to distribute, fairly cheap to make and provide audiences with a behind-the-scenes pass to their favourite shows. But there are a couple of different types of videos and some may actually benefit from this new pay-per-view version of YouTube.

P.S. I do not personally think that this is a good move for YouTube as they are already receiving enough bad press about the advertisements at the beginning of videos. Yet, it could lead to some new and interesting opportunities.

Video Style #1: Promotional Advertising Videos

This category of videos encapsulates the wide range of material that is specifically made with the purpose of creating a 30-second advertisement for the show, but shown on the internet instead of television. For an example, check out this video for Hands on a Hardbody.

These videos definitely have their purpose as pop-ups on other related sites that their customers are visiting and are useful on YouTube for giving consumers a bit of a taste of the show. HOWEVER, they should not have anything to do with this new paying structure on YouTube because there isn’t any incentive for consumers to pay for advertising!

Video Style #2: Promotional Behind-the-Scenes Videos

This sector of YouTube videos has seen a rather steady growth over the last couple of years. Due to loyal fans’ desire to learn more about the casts or the production, these videos really satisfy a need. For an example of these, check out the 8-part (and still growing) collection of Lion King Australia: Road to Pride Rock video series which provides a view at the casting and design process in preparing the musical for its Australian return.

If any area of theatre videos is going to move into the new era of YouTube, it will be these ones. This may seem like a bad idea because it could alienate some of the consumers who would watch these videos. However, the consumers who watch these videos are most likely brand loyal and will visit the production more than once. As a result, they have a lot of disposable income if they are going to buy a couple of $120+ tickets and can probably afford to pay the extra money. On the flipside, this financial incentive for shows will also create increased motivation for the theatre company to produce bundles of high-quality videos to satisfy its current consumers and attract new consumers to shell out the $X a month for access.

Video Style #3: Individual Performer Videos

If shows do take up the pay-per-view option for their promotion behind-the-scenes videos, then another benefit may be increased viewership to these styles of videos. Generally, these videos are shot by performers in the show in a vlog style format and provide access into the world of the theatre (as corny as that sounds) in a more informal – less advertising-based – manner. Check out some of Andrew Keenan-Bolger’s videos for an example.


Who knows what this new YouTube format will lead to, but hopefully we will see some new and creative ways of using YouTube from the theatres and it may drive more traffic to those independent uploaders which can only be a good thing!

How do you think the new YouTube format will affect video production generally? Leave some comments below!