“What would Google do?” Charge for content, of course

So much for not charging for content. According to Peter Kafka, Google wants to erect a paywall around part of YouTube, charging on a per-view basis to watch TV shows:

Google’s video site has been trying to convince the TV industry to let it stream individual shows for a fee, multiple sources tell me.

YouTube already lets users watch a smattering of TV shows for free, with advertising. Now it envisions something similar to what Apple and Amazon already offer: First-run shows, without commercials, for $1.99 an episode, available the day after they air on broadcast or cable.

Sources say the site’s negotiations with the networks and studios that own the shows are preliminary. But both sides seem optimistic, since models for such deals already exist.”

No doubt that Google’s cheerleaders will be racing to claim that this is a daring move, and certainly doesn’t try and impose any kind of artificial scarcity like that nasty old-fashioned Mr Murdoch is trying to do for news. After all, it’s hard to find TV shows for free on the Internet, right?