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YouTube and Vimeo Prepare Subscription Video Offerings

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Can consumers be persuaded to pay for something that they're already used to getting for free? YouTube and Vimeo think so, as both are preparing to launch subscriptions plans.

Speaking at the Code/Mobile conference, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said that her company is exploring subscription options, one of which could be an ad-free viewing experience. Wojcicki didn't offer specifics, as there didn't seem to be specifics to give.

"We're thinking about how to give users options," Wojcicki said.

YouTube has been creating a subscription music service for many months now, and consumers should see it soon, although Wojcicki wouldn't say exactly when. While she wouldn't confirm whether or not it would launch this year, she said "We're working on it."

But YouTube isn't the only video site thinking subscriptions. In an interview with Re/code, Kerry Trainor, Vimeo's CEO, had the same quote: "We're working on it."

Trainor told the site that subscriptions would definitely come to Vimeo next month, but wouldn't say for what content or how much money. But he did say that Vimeo is already in the subscription business, since it sells a premium version of its video hosting service to over 500,000 members, as well as offering tools that let video creators sell or rent their own work. 

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