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YouTube 'may charge for channels'

Video sharing website YouTube is considering plans to charge people to view some of its channels.

It is reported the firm, owned by internet giant Google, has asked some of its contributors to create paid-for channels that will be available later this year charging consumers between one dollar (60p) and five dollars (3) a month.

A YouTube spokeswoman said: "We have long maintained that different content requires different types of payment models. The important thing is that, regardless of the model, our creators succeed on the platform. There are a lot of our content creators that think they would benefit from subscriptions, so we're looking at that."

More than four billion hours of video are watched on the site each month with 72 hours of video uploaded to it every minute.

YouTube, which was set up in 2005, has previously been criticised by the entertainment business over copyright infringement but now hosts channels by broadcasters including Channel 5, Channel4 and BBC Worldwide.

In a speech at the Edinburgh International Television Festival in 2011, Google boss Dr Eric Schmidt said the television industry should use YouTube to test its products and said the internet was "fundamental" to the future of television.

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