YouTube TV unveiled, partnering with major US broadcast networks

‘Skinny bundle’ might sound like a salad-laden meal deal at your local burger joint, but is in fact a cornerstone of YouTube’s latest proffering: a live TV streaming service with access to big broadcast networks – but only the ones you’d want to watch. We’re talking ABC, NBC, Fox – none of those shopping channels peddling faux emeralds or specialist fishing equipment.

YouTube TV unveiled, partnering with major US broadcast networks

In order to sign up to YouTube TV, you’ll need a subscription which will set you back $35 (£28) a month, but will give six accounts access to a streamlined array of 40 premium channels, including ESPN, regional sports networks and in-demand cable networks. As you might have inferred by now, the service will initially launch in the US, and is expected to appear in a matter of months if not weeks, with international expansion occurring afterwards.

Considering Netflix costs as little as £5.99 a month, a subscription to YouTube TV might sound a little steep. But for what you get, it’s not. The service costs less than a subscription to traditional US cable, it just omits the hordes of niche channels that nobody really wants to view. Plus, as a Google subsidiary, YouTube TV is kitted out with the best its engineers have to offer, including AI-powered search, personalisation and unlimited cloud storage (no longer will families battle it out for coveted space on the DVR). Meanwhile, younger generations will rejoice at the incorporation of YouTube Red’s 28 original series, despite the recent loss of PewDiePie.

It’s not without its shortcomings, however. There are some notable network omissions which will no doubt be missed, including CNN and MTV. Another caveat which may pose a significant deterrent to potential customers is the presence of ads, with Google and its affiliated networks able to sell ads on YouTube TV to bolster income. Some of the channels offer a conditional service, meaning, for example, that you might have to watch some premium sports channels on a TV or computer, as opposed to a smartphone or tablet. In addition, it will only launch in bustling markets where extended live local broadcast feeds can be offered, in buzzing metropolises such as Philly, L.A. or New York, according to TechCrunch.

Nonetheless, it’s an exciting development from the most prominent video sharing platform in the world. With current estimations suggesting people enjoy a billion hours of YouTube videos everyday (collectively, that is), I can’t imagine business will be thin on the ground for its ‘skinny bundle’. Ironically enough.

Image: Rego Korosi, used under Creative Commons

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