YouTube is expanding beyond its role of being an online video hub. The Alphabet-owned company announced on Tuesday that over the next few months it will launch YouTube TV, an online cable bundle with all the networks and dozens of cable networks. For just $35 per month, you’ll have not only access to all the YouTube content, but also live shows and programming from 40 networks, including sports and news with membership for up to 6 people.
Some of the networks that are included are ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, USA, FX, FreeForm, Disney, ESPN, Fox Sports 1, NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC, Fox News, and Fox Business. You can also add on channels such as Fox Sports Plus and Showtime.
YouTube TV will be standalone from the main YouTube app.
Company CEO Susan Wojcicki took the stage at a press event early today to share the evolution of media to cater to the needs of the “YouTube generation.” From traditional TV to online video and now smartphones, people’s consumption of shows and content have greatly changed. “There’s no question that millennials love great TV content, but what we’ve seen is that people to don’t want to watch it in traditional settings. They don’t want to wait for their favorite show to come on,” she remarked. “Young people want to consume content online, live or on demand, so they can watch when they want, on any screen so they can watch where they want, on their terms, so they can watch how they want.”
YouTube TV is available through a mobile app. You can cycle through shows in the interactive guide and, with the swipe of a finger, can instantly begin watching. There’s also a cloud-based DVR that lets you record endless hours of shows and series you care about. But if you don’t want to watch on your phone, you can use Google’s Chromecast and Cast-enabled devices to stream the show or movie to a bigger screen.
“YouTube TV doesn’t come with any commitments or hidden fees,” Wojcicki said.
As a bit of a bonus for subscribers, YouTube TV also includes the online video service’s original content now distributed through YouTube Red. If you want the full YouTube Red experience, the company suggest you subscribe directly to the service.
Reports about this service go as far back as May 2016 where it was said the company was working on a way to bundle cable TV channels that were streamed over the internet. At the time it was labeled YouTube Unplugged, but obviously that has changed. At the time, sources told Bloomberg that YouTube was in discussion with major media companies, including NBCUniversal, Viacom, 21st Century Fox, and CBS.
By creating this service, YouTube is entering a market that includes competitors such as AT&T’s DirecTV Now, Sony Playstation Vue, and Sling TV. The service will roll out piecemeal across the U.S., probably due to rights issues YouTube and others in the space are dealing with.
Readers will notice that some channels and networks are noticeably missing, such as those from Time Warner. YouTube said that it’s always in discussions with new partners, but does not anticipate raising the price beyond the $35 monthly fee.