YouTube Live TV Service To Launch At $35 Per Month


YouTube’s much-rumored live TV bundle will launch “in the next few months” with more than 40 channels at $35 a month, the Google-owned video portal said today in unveiling the service dubbed YouTube TV. The Internet-based “skinny bundle” will compete with the likes of AT&T’s DirecTV Now, Sling TV and Sony’s PlayStation Vue.

Hulu is prepping a similar service and Apple TV wants to. YouTube’s version was tipped to launch sometime this spring at around a $40 price point.

The Big Four broadcast networks — ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox — will be available at launch, along with their associated cable channels such as ESPN, USA Network and FX. Showtime will be available for an additional fee. The package includes 10 sports networks, MSNBC, CBS News, Fox News, Disney Channel, Bravo and E! as well as local channel offerings. The package also includes YouTube Red original TV and film content, however, YouTube TV is a standalone app meaning if you still want the all the features of YouTube Red, you much maintain that subscription.

Users can add up to six accounts per subscription, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said today in unveiling the first concrete details of the service. Users will be able to record unlimited shows at once with its cloud-based DVR, with no storage limits. Each account will have its own tailored recommendations and its own personal DVR. Also, unlike the traditional On Demand function, you will be able to fast forward within the C3-C7 viewing window of broadcast channels. A voice command function also is in the works.

Currently, said YouTube’s Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan, there are “no plans to roll-out [YouTube TV] internationally” as the “focus is to have a successful launch” in the U.S.

Said Wojcicki: “There no question that millennials love great TV content, but what we are seeing is that they don’t want to watch it in the traditional setting.” She later added, YouTube TV is “designed with the needs of the new generation of TV fans. Those who want to watch what they want, when they want, how they want, without commitments.”

The major networks air television’s most popular programming, so they are considered must-haves for services that hope to compete with cable and satellite — as well as one another. The challenge is to assemble enough popular programming without running up the cost.

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