YouTube is hopping on the internet TV bandwagon

youtube planning internet tv service march madness streaming
A little over a year ago, the idea of a live streaming internet TV service wasn’t exactly unheard of, but it was still fairly novel — now it’s become positively commonplace. Hulu is confirmed to be working on a live TV package for 2017, and now it seems that YouTube is looking to join the club as well.

Google’s video goliath is reportedly working on a paid subscription service called Unplugged that would offer a number of cable channels, similar to current offerings like Dish’s Sling TV and Sony’s PlayStation Vue, Bloomberg reports. The report claims this is one of the company’s top priorities, with YouTube’s underlying architecture already having been overhauled in order to support it.

Discussions have already taken place between YouTube and media companies including NBCUniversal, Viacom, Twenty-First Century Fox, and CBS, but Bloomberg’s sources say no deals have been reached so far. While Hulu’s planned service is expected to cost $40 per month, YouTube would like to price its service starting at $35. However the content companies it will bargain with will have some say on the eventual price. Assuming there are no licensing issues — by no means a given, considering the troubles Apple has reportedly encountered — Unplugged is expected to debut alongside Hulu’s service in 2017.

The anonymous sources said that YouTube is considering selling its service similarly to Sling TV, which offers a standard base package of channels, with add-on channel bundles available for $5 per month each. This is a more granular approach than the tiered model used by cable companies and Sling TV’s current rival, PlayStation Vue.

YouTube has reportedly been pursuing online TV since 2012, or perhaps even earlier, but the sources say that these plans have increased in urgency in recent months. It’s not clear, however, whether this is due to existing services gaining traction, or the plans for new services announced by other companies.

While YouTube isn’t exactly starving for cash — it’s currently the largest ad-supported video provider on the web — Unplugged would make for a second source of subscription-based revenue. Last year the service introduced YouTube Red, which provides ad-free access to videos, offline and background playback, and music streaming, all included in one subscription.

With Hulu’s service aiming for 2017, not to mention possible competing services from Apple and Amazon, the internet TV landscape is about to get a lot more complicated. Fortunately for us, this also means more chances that one company will knock it out of the park — it’s just currently anyone’s guess who that might be.

Home Theater

Plex is the latest player to contemplate the subscription streaming game

With massive reach thanks to its client app being supported virtually every media device on the planet, Plex is now looking at the future of its media curation platform. A future that may include free and subscription services.
Home Theater

Looking to cut cable? Here’s everything you need to know about Pluto TV

Pluto TV offers plenty of entertainment in a fashion similar to live internet TV services, only at no cost — you don’t even need to register. Too good to be true? Here’s everything you need to know.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.

For Netflix, ‘Fortnite’ on YouTube is a bigger threat than HBO

In a letter to shareholders, Netflix explained that it views the video game Fortnite as bigger competition than HBO, with YouTube videos of the game drawing viewers away from the streaming platform.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Movies & TV

From ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to ‘Episode IX’: The most anticipated movies of 2019

This year is shaping up to be one of the biggest in a long time for Hollywood fare, with everying from Avengers: Endgame to Star Wars: Episode IX hitting theaters over the next 12 months. To make planning your theater calendar a little…

New Spider-Man, Old Ghostbusters, John Wick, and 'Glass'

This week on Between the Streams, we'll be talking about the Netflix price rise, the first trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home, a new (and possibly very old) Ghostbusters movie, the latest from Netflix and Steve Carell, Glass, and more.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Killing Eve'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Spider-Man,’ ‘John Wick,’ Ghostbusters,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's the first trailers for Spider-Man: Far From Home and John Wick: Chapter 3.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: ‘American Crime Story’ and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, Terry Gilliam's Brazil, and more.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (January 2019)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.