Rumors had suggested that YouTube had aspirations to launch its own streaming TV package, which would see it stream traditional TV content as well as its online-focused content.
And those rumors are true. At an event in Los Angeles, California, today, YouTube officially announced its own streaming TV service. Similar in its methodology as Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and many other offerings, it will allow subscribers to watch content from TV networks on a streaming basis. YouTube TV’s price will cover six accounts, so that many individuals in a household can get their own personal viewing experience.
At the time of publication, details were light. However, it’s known that YouTube will charge $35 per month for its TV streaming service, and it will include access to the major networks –NBC, ABC, CBS, and FOX — right out of the gate. Subscribers will also get access to “around 30 of the biggest cable channels.”
At this point, YouTube TV supports some of the biggest names available in the network TV space, but there are missing elements. The streaming service won’t feature channels from Viacom, including Comedy Central or MTV, and Turner Broadcasting channels are off the table, too: that means no CNN, TNT, or TBS. Also missing are A+E Network, AMC Networks, and Discovery Communications.
Here are the features, as laid out officially on the YouTube blog:
- Live TV streaming from ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN, regional sports networks and dozens of popular cable networks. YouTube TV gives you the best of live TV, from must-see broadcast shows like “Empire,” “The Voice,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “Scandal,” to the live sports you want. YouTube TV includes major sports networks like ESPN and regional sports networks like Fox Sports Networks and Comcast SportsNet, so you can watch your favorite NBA or MLB teams. We’ve also partnered with local TV stations, so you’ll also get sports and local news based on where you live. And YouTube TV offers dozens of additional cable channels, so you won’t miss out on the latest news from MSNBC or Fox News, popular shows and movies from USA or FX, kids programming from the Disney Channel or Sprout, or reality TV from E! or Bravo. You can also add Showtime, or Fox Soccer Plus to your networks for an additional charge. In total, YouTube TV gives you access to more than 40 networks, listed below.
- A cloud DVR, with no storage limits. With YouTube TV, you’ll be able to record live TV and never run out of storage. Your cloud DVR can record as many shows as you want, simultaneously, without using precious data or space on your phone and we’ll store each of your recordings for nine months.
- A service that works great on all your screens.> You can watch YouTube TV on any screen—mobile, tablet or computer—and you can easily stream to your TV with a Google Chromecast or Chromecast built-in TV. YouTube TV works on both Android and iOS. And your cloud DVR goes with you, so you can stream your recordings on any device, whenever and wherever you want.
- YouTube Red Originals. With a YouTube TV membership, you can watch all of our YouTube Red Original series and movies right on the new YouTube TV app.
- Six accounts, one price. Every YouTube TV membership comes with six accounts, each with its own unique recommendations and personal DVR with no storage limits. You can watch up to three concurrent streams at a time.
- Half the cost of cable with zero commitments. A YouTube TV membership is only $35 a month and there are no commitments—you can cancel anytime.
Apple was rumored to be working on something similar to this, but those plans effectively died out long before Apple could make anything official.
YouTube TV launches “soon” in the United States’ largest markets, and will roll out across other cities from there.[via The Verge; YouTube blog]