Google announced on Tuesday the launch of the new YouTube TV service: a so-called “skinny bundle” that lets you stream select cable TV channels on any device at a much cheaper price than regular cable television providers.
YouTube TV will cost customers only $35 a month, which gets them 6 accounts, 3 of which can be used to stream live TV concurrently, and access to 40 different networks, including “ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN, regional sports networks, and dozens of popular cable networks,” according to a recent entry on the official YouTube blog.
Each of the accounts will be personalized and utilize AI-powered searching algorithms, similar to Netflix’s profile system. Users also gain access to YouTube Red original shows and an unlimited cloud DVR (1 per account) to record live TV.
Susan Wojicki, the CEO of YouTube, declared that this was the evolution of television, aiming to “give the younger generation the content that they love with the flexibility they expect,” able to watch YouTube TV on their computers, smartphones, tablets, or any device with a Google Chromecast. YouTube is not the first to offer such a service, as different providers have been cropping up over the past year or so.
Currently, other options on the market include: Dish’s Sling TV, which offers 2 basic packages for $20 and currently has around 764,000 subscribers, and Sony’s PlayStation Vue, with a monthly cost of $40 for 60 channels. Hulu is expected to launch a similar web TV offering sometime this year.
Unlike YouTube Red, YouTube’s premium service launched in 2015, the service will not be completely advertising free; Google has allowed its network partners, as well as itself, to sell advertising in order to bring in additional revenue. Another extra source of cash for Google will be premium networks, such as Showtime, that users can add on for a price.
YouTube TV is the next step for the website that started out in 2005 and is best known for viral homemade videos. Currently, people from around the world watch around 1 billion hours of content every single day on YouTube, which would take an individual person about 100,000 years to get through.