On Tuesday, Google unveiled its long-rumored over-the-top TV streaming service, officially taking on the likes of Dish’s Sling TV and Sony’s PlayStation Vue to conquer the shifting TV market.
The service, dubbed YouTube TV, is essentially a “skinny bundle” that covers live TV programming from all four major U.S. broadcasting networks — ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC — and their affiliated cable channels such as ESPN and Bravo. The inclusion of Missing from the lineup are channels owned by cable pay TV networks such as Viacom and Time Warner.
YouTube Live will cost $35 per month for up to six accounts, and it also comes with an unlimited cloud DVR feature as well as a content recommendation system powered by Google’s AI engine. In addition, subscribers will also have access to YouTube’s original content. Google says it will roll out the service in the U.S. in the coming months.
What Brands Need To Do
This announcement marks another high-profile entry of a tech giant into the OTT streaming market, as the battle for retaining TV subscribers and, more importantly, selling TV packages to cord-cutters and cord-nevers, continues to heat up. It also shows the remarkable journey that YouTube has been on since its founding in 2005 as a website where people upload their home videos. Now, viewers worldwide are watching more than 1 billion hours of video content on YouTube every day, growing at a pace that easily eclipses U.S. television viewership.
As for brands, this means another channel to reach the audience that has abandoned linear TV viewing in favor of time-shifted viewing, as YouTube TV will carry all the live TV ads. Taking the vast user data and the sophisticated ad operations that Google owns into account, it seems likely that the search giant will be offering some ad tech integrations with the streaming service and allow brands to target audience in a more granular, personalized manner.