YouTube TV is a slick full cable television replacement
For $35 a month, you can watch a variety of broadcast and cable networks on the same app you use for adorable animal videos.
Google has announced YouTube TV, and it’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s a $35-a-month TV service that packages a bundle of channels from the broadcast networks and various cable networks. The networks includes Fox, ABC, CBS and NBC, as well as their affiliated cable networks, including Fox News, ESPN, and Bravo.
The base package will include roughly three dozen channels. Operators like Viacom (MTV, Nickelodeon) and Time Warner (HBO) will likely not be broadcast since these are either still considered exclusives for pay TV or have successful standalone services already. Showtime is noted on the YouTube TV site as being available for an extra free, but that price hasn’t been revealed yet.
Unlike, say, conventional cable, which is typically watched on a television set, YouTube TV will be pivoted as “mobile first.” The company expects its subscribers will spend a majority of the time consuming content on smartphones, though they’ll also be able to watch it through all the other mediums — including the traditional TV in the living room.
YouTube also heavily pushed the notion of better service to Recode recently. We’ll let Peter Kafka explain it:
What YouTube is really pushing, though, is the notion that while it may have the same programming as its competitors, it will have a better service. YouTube product chief Neal Mohan says the company has been working on YouTube TV for two years; he promises that you’ll see the results when you actually get to play with it.
Since you can’t do that yet, here are some of the features Mohan has talked up:
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.
Kafka makes some other noteworthy points about YouTube TV, which will launch later this spring, including the fact that the service is likely to directly compete with Hulu, the other anti-cable streaming service.
Anyone eager to jump on this new way to catch television from your phone can sign up to be notified as soon as the service is available here. Are you signing up for YouTube TV? Drop us a line in the comments!