In a blogpost YouTube let’s us know that direct payment for subscribing to YouTube channels is being rolled out now. Content owners/creators now have more (and most certainly: better) options to monetize their content. Not only advertisement, in content sponsoring/product placement, but also direct payment as a monhtly subscription.
It will be only a matter of time before pay per view will be added as an option as well. Sports organizations who are distributing tons of high quality content via YouTube now (see for example the MLB and IOC), have a solid new stream of income to pay for their expensive content.
How bright the future will be depends on one factor: are people willing to pay in the perceived free environment that YouTube is.
Hat tip to Francisco.