YouTube planning premium TV service
By Digital News Asia May 12, 2016
- Premium TV service set to start in 2017
- Giant media conglomerates yet to sign
ACCORDING to rumours swirling around the net, YouTube is set to launch a premium service titled 'Unplugged' that would offer subscribers a set of TV channels streamed over the internet.
It is expected to debut in the United States in 2017 and roll out worldwide after that. YouTube, a unit of Alphabet Inc. is already the largest ad-supported streaming video site in the world. YouTube introduced its first paid subscription service, Red, last year.
YouTube is an arms race with Apple and Amazon who are working on similar projects. In the US, Dish Network and Sony have already introduced online TV services.
This is not the first time that similar rumours have surfaced. A few months ago, The Wall Street Journal had reported on the same developments.
“We aim to provide more choice to YouTube fans - more ways for them to engage with creators and each other and more ways for them to get great content,” Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, wrote recently to Alphabet shareholders. “We’ve started down this journey with specialised apps like YouTube Kids, as well as through our YouTube Red subscription service.”
If the rumours are to be believed, YouTube is struggling to agree a bundle price with the large content providers and American TV networks like CBS and Fox.
In general, cable TV subscriptions in the US are slowly declining. In other parts of the developed world like the UK and France, the subscriber numbers are effectively flat. Companies like Apple, Google and Amazon are now planning to step into this void and attract new, younger internet savvy customers.
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