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YouTube Eyes Paid Subscriptions

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YouTube (GOOG) is exploring the possibility of selling subscriptions to access some of its cable content, Salar Kamangar -- Google's SVP of YouTube and video -- told Reuters on Thursday.

Considering a business model like Netflix (NFLX) and Apple TV (AAPL), the company could start charging for professionally created content such as sports coverage, television shows, and films.

"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 it very seriously and we're thinking about it very carefully," said Kamangar.

Kamagar's comments come as the Department of Justice begins its investigation into whether cable TV companies are hampering the development of online video providers.

YouTube is the world's leading online video website with over 800 million users worldwide who stream over 4 billion videos each day. Last fall, Google spent $100 million dollars to launch premium channels and in May pledged to spend another $200 million on marketing those channels, which do not require a subscription.

The site currently makes money by selling advertising, including video ads and site sponsorships. Just how much revenue YouTube generates is unknown as Google does not release financial results for the website.

(See also: Netflix, Amazon Hope to Bury Cable Companies in DC and In a Shocking Twist, Comcast Now Defending User Rights)
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