Google Plots Flashy 2017 Debut For YouTube ‘Unplugged’ Streaming TV Service

Google is taking another stab at the streaming TV market, this time through its YouTube division, which is prepping a paid subscription service called Unplugged. The streaming service is said to be a priority for Google and YouTube, which could debut as early as next year, providing everything falls into place.

YouTube's Unplugged service would consist of cable TV channels streaming over the Internet. It already has the architecture in place to support such a service, so now it's a matter of getting media partners on board with the idea. To that end, YouTube has been in talks with several major media outlets such as NBCUniversal, Viacom, Twenty-First Century Fox, and CBS, though no agreements are yet in place.

YouTube

This is the next evolution of YouTube. The ad-supported video sharing site started by three former PayPal employees has grown leaps and bounds since it was first introduced over a decade ago. More recently YouTube rolled out Red, its first paid subscription service that lets viewers skip the ads and watch original movies and TV shows for $10/month. It also comes with a free Google Play Music subscription.

Unplugged would introduce even more premium content and generate additional subscription revenue. Details of the online cable package are still being worked out, but this is something that's going to happen—Google's been working on this for the past several years.

People purportedly familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that YouTube has kicked around a few different ways of bundling TV channels. One possible scenario is to offer channels from the four U.S. broadcast networks and sprinkle in a few popular cable channels. This is what the industry refers to as a skinny bundle, and it's similar to what Sling TV offers.

The toughest part of this process will be negotiating with media providers. YouTube wants to sell its subscription service for less than $35 per month, but media companies drive hard bargains, particularly for new participants.

Via:  Bloomberg
Show comments blog comments powered by Disqus