YouTube has joined Netflix, Hulu and Amazon in offering subscription-based alternatives to traditional pay-TV, by launching overnight a trial scheme for paid channels.

YouTube, which is owned by Google, said the move will help content creators to earn revenue for their creativity.

Google bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion. About one billion people around the world use the service every month.

The 30 channels include National Geographic Kids, Acorn - which provides episodes from several British TV series - and Fix My Hog Premium, which is aimed at Harley Davidson motorcycle enthusiasts.

Another channel is Big Think Mentor, from - an education channel focussed on lifelong learning.

"This is just the beginning," said Malik Ducard, YouTube's director of content partnerships. The site plans to roll out a way for a broad number of partners to launch pay channels on their own soon.

YouTube will keep slightly less than half of the revenue generated by the subscriptions.