YouTube has this week announced YouTube TV, a brand new TV streaming service which takes direct aim at cable TV providers by offering major TV networks for a fairly reasonable monthly price.
Cable cutting is a term we’re hearing a lot recently, it’s something I myself have done and it’s something many people like me have done too or are considering doing so. It’s the act of ditching cable TV in favour of online streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more. As cable cutting becomes more common, we’re soon going to enter a generation of people who have never had a cable to cut, and that’s a big problem for the cable TV business.
YouTube’s latest announcement doesn’t help that problem either, in fact it just brings that problem much, much closer.
So, YouTube TV is pretty much a cable TV network, it has all the major channels from ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC, and roughly 35 cable TV channels too. You’re also able to pause and rewind live TV. What’s more, there’s unlimited cloud DVR for subscribers meaning you can download and store as many programs as you want, to be watched whenever and wherever you want.
The service will exist as a standalone app with subscriptions costing anything from $35. This gives them access to the aforementioned channels as well as six accounts for friends and family members.
Of course, as you’d probably expect not every major network is there as they mostly have their own streaming services to look after. Viacom’s channels, like Comedy Central and MTV won’t be there, nor will anything from Turner Broadcasting, AMC Networks, Discovery Communications, and HBO. Showtime is however available as an add-on.
In an attempt to sweeten the deal, YouTube is also throwing in programming from YouTube Red at no extra cost.
As for a launch date, YouTube has said that it’ll be launching in major US markets first, so smaller cities will have to wait. As for a roll-out outside of the US, I’m really not expecting to hear anything any time soon.
While it’s definitely a great step for the cable cutting generation, someone made a pretty valid point on Twitter:
$10 for Netflix/Hulu, $15 for HBO Now, $35 for YouTube TV. You're just at cable TV cost at that point. Why bother?https://t.co/LaFAM4D9gB
— Skyla (@skylatron) February 28, 2017
I’m definitely optimistic about the future of media consumption, but Skyla has a point.