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YouTube launches paid channels, including ones from Jim Henson Studios, UFC and National Geographic

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After weeks of speculation, YouTube has launched several paid channels, including one from Jim Henson Studios. In a blog post today, YouTube confirmed reports from earlier this week that it would allow select content creators to charge for access to their channels for an additional revenue stream beyond advertising. The Google-owned video site said that the pilot program currently includes only a few channels, with prices starting at $0.99 a month and including discounted yearly rates. One of the major channels that is available already is Jim Hneson Family TV, which includes content from the Jim Henson Studios. There’s already content from Fraggle Rock and The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss. Full episodes of Sesame Street will be available for families to enjoy. A subscription to the Henson channel is $2.99 a month. For UFC fans, there’s UFC Select, which will have many classic UFC fights and National Geographic also launched a kids channel. Fans of British drama will want to check out Acorn TV. “This is just the beginning,” YouTube said in a statement. “We’ll be rolling paid channels out more broadly in the coming weeks as a self-service feature for qualifying partners. And as new channels appear, we'll be making sure you can discover them, just as we've been helping you find and subscribe to all the channels you love across YouTube.”