(Reuters)-YouTube is exploring selling subscriptions to access to some of its video offerings, potentially providing a way for certain cable channels to be available outside the traditional "bundles" offered by cable network providers, said YouTube boss Salar Kamangar.
Cable channels with smaller audiences will in the future migrate to the Web and become available on an "a la carte" basis, Kamangar said at the Reuters Media and Technology Summit on Thursday.
Some of those channels, which Kamangar said receive little or no affiliate fees from cable distributors, could be one of the viable offerings for Google-owned YouTube as it weighs selling subscriptions to some of the hundreds of millions of people who watch videos on the website every month.
YouTube is also considering making some of the original video programs featured on recently-launched YouTube "channels" available for a fee.
"We don't have anything to announce now. It is something that's really important to a lot of our top existing content creators as well as ones that aren't on YouTube today, so we're taking very seriously and we're thinking about it very carefully," said Kamangar, Google senior vice president, YouTube and video.
Kamagar's comments come as Department of Justice has launched an inquiry into whether cable TV distributors are hampering development of the fledgling online video sector.
YouTube is the world's No.1 video website with more than 4 billion video streams every day. The website currently makes money by selling advertising including pre-roll video ads and sponsorships of certain parts of the site, though Google does not break out financial results for YouTube.
(Reporting Alexei Oreskovic and Yinka Adegoke; editing by Carol Bishopric)