Even as it becomes part of the cable bundle, Alphabet Inc. (GOOG) subsidiary Google’s video streaming platform YouTube is officially cutting the cord. The service announced the launch of YouTube TV, a multi-screen live TV service on its platform. Google intends to charge $35 for six accounts and display content from 40-plus network providers. It will be available later this spring in major national markets.
The list of content providers for the service is impressive and consists of heavyweights that range from entertainment networks, such as CBS Corp. (CBS), to sports channels like Disney Corp.’s (DIS) ESPN. The company has also partnered with local television stations. The service also has cloud DVR, which enables recording of programs onto a personal cloud for later viewing. (See also: Google Signs CBS For Its Skinny Bundle Service).
Google’s announcement comes on the heels of YouTube’s integration into Comcast Corp.’s (CMCSA) cable bundle. The announcement of a separate skinny bundle broadcast over-the-top is not really a surprise. The Mountain View company has been teasing the prospect for some time now and has also experimented with different formats and styles of content and advertising in preparation. (See also: Assessing Comcast's Integration Of Youtube).
For example, it unveiled YouTube Red, a subscription service featuring original content from professional content creators from within YouTube, last year. Content from this service will be available to YouTube TV. Similarly, it is currently experimenting with unskippable 30-second ads on YouTube. Last week, the company announced that it will discontinue such ads in 2018.
Given its pricing and convenience factor (it is available across multiple screens), the chances that the service will become a success are high. It could also open up another revenue stream for Google as a serious competitor for TV ad dollars. Rival Facebook Inc. (FB) is also said to be developing a YouTube-like service on its platform. (See also: Facebook May Invest In Original TV Shows On Its Platform).