YouTube Announces $35/mo. Subscription TV Service with 40+ Channels — Including Major Broadcast Networks
YouTube is expanding it’s video services to include live television channels — without a cable or satellite subscription.
The company announced a live and on-demand TV service called “YouTubeTV.” The subscription will cost $35 a month for a family plan of up to six accounts and is expected to launch in the next few months.
Subscribers will have access to up to 40 networks, as well as YouTube creator content. Channels include all broadcast channels and cable channels like USA, FX, Freeform, ESPN, Fox Sports and NBC Sports. Users can add Showtime and soccer programming for an additional fee.
“There’s no question that millennials love great TV content, but what we’ve seen is they don’t want to watch it in the traditional setting,” said YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki at a press event.
The over-the-top service uses the internet, instead of cable or satellite, and will let people wach on any device. Users can also record as many programs as they want.
People will be able to stream to their TVs using Chromecast when the service launches, with additional devices to be added in the future. In addition, Google Home and Google Cast will allow people to speak to their TVs to control their TV experience in the near future. (The voice search functions failed during the demo on Tuesday, proving more work needs to be done.)
The news comes at a time when more Americans are open to cutting the cord. A study from research firm GfK said a quarter of American homes don’t subscribe to a pay TV service, with 6 percent only using the internet to watch their favorite shows on a TV using a device like Apple TV or Roku. A recent U.S Energy Information Administration survey shows 2.3 televisions were used in American homes in 2015, down from an average of 2.6 televisions per household in 2009. The number of homes with three or more TVs declined, while the number of homes without a TV grew.
Google will have competition in the space. Hulu is planning is own over-the-top service this year, with CBS, Fox and Disney — including ESPN —among the networks which have signed on.
This is great for those wanting to get rid of their cable or satellite bill — but it also means that this new wave of watching TV over the internet will probably make our internet prices skyrocket.