Youtube has just announced that it will launch a new service, Youtube TV, aimed at providing users with access to live television broadcasts from several major networks via a new standalone app. The $35 a month service is set to debut in spring of 2017, and will include cable channels as well as a bundle of FOX, ABC, CBS and NBC. Users will be able to use the app as well as Google’s Chromecast devices to watch their programs.
The inclusion of cable channels will also provide users with outlets like ESPN, Bravo and FOX News, totaling about three dozen channels, according to Youtube executive. According to Recode, the Youtube TV app will also boast such features as:
- A cloud DVR with unlimited storage space, included in the base package. (That’s a feature Hulu has been talking about selling as an add-on to base package.)
- A recommendation system powered by Google’s AI.
- “Reliability and scalability” — a not-veiled reminder that other digital TV services have had technical struggles when they first launched.
With Youtube’e new leap into the online television streaming marketplace, it will find itself competing with such sites as Hulu, HBO GO and Dish Networks services. As Recode reminded, however, its low $35 price tag will likely fail to turn any kind of significant profit for Youtube. “Right now it wants to work on turning some of its billion-plus users into paying subscribers.”