At a press event today, Google finally took the wraps off their anticipated television streaming service called YouTube TV. It promises to offer a mixture of live and recorded content based on offerings by some leading networks including ShowTime, NBC, and CBS.
There’s no question that people love TV, from live sports to breaking news to sitcoms and dramas. But the truth is, there are a lot of limitations in how to watch TV today. Unlike online video, people can’t watch TV when they want, on any screen and on their terms, without commitments. Consumers have made it clear that they want live TV without all the hassle. They don’t want to worry about their DVR filling up. They don’t want to miss a great game or their favorite show because they’re on the go. They tell us they want TV to be more like YouTube.
Well, we’ve got some good news! We’re bringing the best of the YouTube experience to live TV. To do this, we’ve worked closely with our network and affiliate partners to evolve TV for the way we watch today.
Meet YouTube TV. It’s live TV designed for the YouTube generation—those who want to watch what they want, when they want, how they want, without commitments.
For pricing, there’s one simple tier: $35 per month. This gets you access to everything YouTube TV has to offer, including more than 40 channels and original YouTube Red content included for free. Up to six members of your Google family can have their own profile on the service and get a personalized experience based on their tastes and streaming habits.
In terms of content, here’s a complete list of all the networks being offered at launch, including ShowTime and Fox Soccer Plus which are considered add-ons for those who would like to pay a little extra every month.
You’ll also get an unlimited cloud DVR to store recordings of live shows which will be held for up to nine months alongside local affiliate channels (for example, if you’re in Philly, you’ll get NBC 10, 6ABC, and CBS 3).
Sadly, some pretty major competitors will be left off YouTube TV at launch. For instance, all of Turner Broadcasting’s channels (e.g. CNN, TBS, TNT) won’t be offered at the time, while MTV, Comedy Central, A&E, AMC, and even Discovery will also not be making an appearance. It’s unfortunate that such major players in the world of network television won’t be available to lift YouTube TV off the ground, and with such a limited selection, some may flock to other offerings such as the newly introduced DirecTV Now.
Of course, some content won’t be available to stream at all. For instance, the NFL won’t allow users to stream football games on their mobile devices thanks to Verizon’s exclusive rights, but you’ll be able to watch them on a PC or TV. With restrictions like this, some may be more attracted to other offerings, but let’s hope that with what YouTube already has going for them will be enough to please consumers.
YouTube TV is integrated with Chromecast and the Google Home so you can control the service with just your voice or smartphone, while apps for both Android and iOS will be offered. It’s unclear when the service will launch, but you can register to learn when. Additionally, only the “largest U.S. markets” will see YouTube Red first, so most of us will have to wait for it to become available in the future.
Cable-cutting services are monstrous and vicious nowadays.Competition grows every day, with each company offering their own perks. YouTube TV doesn’t exactly have much uniqueness other than its own app and the fact that YouTube Red content is available, so Google will have to play off these key elements to make their service more enjoyable and worth using over others. There’s always a possibility that something huge consumers will be drawn to like a magnet will be introduced in the future to boost their user base, but as of now, Google has a serious uphill battle to fight and it doesn’t look like they’re entirely ready yet.