Young people are hooked on YouTube, but till now the company has specialized in short viral clips, music videos, and independent shows. But, with the launch of YouTube TV, will millennials tune in for live TV?
YouTube TV officially launched аwhile ago, offering a so-called “skinny bundle” of around 50 live television networks for $35 a month. The service launches first in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco, with a complete roll-out further down the line. The service will include a free 30-day trial and (at least to begin with) a free Google Chromecast streaming device worth $35.
For those looking to cut the cord and ditch their traditional cable subscription, YouTube Live – along with Dish’s Sling TV, Sony’s Playstation Vue and AT£T’s DirecTV Now – offer a viable option. However, YouTube Live undercuts comparable plans from Sling TV and PlayStation Vue, which are both priced at $40.
The internet video site plans to draw on two key strengths to separate itself from the competition. Firstly, it will target younger viewers, with whom the company is already incredibly popular. Secondly, it will focus on mobile streaming, where it already dominates.
Though mobile streaming is currently fairly unpopular – with Netflix recently announcing that two-thirds of its streaming go through to TVs – it is growing. As 5G unrolls, commuters and travelers will make no doubt make more use of mobile streaming. And, as mobile devices (such as tablets) get bigger screens, home use is expected to increase, too.
Another access point and one that allows millennial users to benefit from the mobile experience is casting to a bigger screen. Indeed, giving away free Chromecast devices is a way to encourage users to do just that. Casting allows users to get all of the mobile benefits – such as a familiar platform, features such as autoplay and recommendations, and personalization – in conjunction with the benefits of a bigger screen. YouTube Live will also be available to watch on laptop and desktop computers.
With more consumers opting to cut the cord, the market for live digital TV is growing quickly. Whilst it’s no surprise that YouTube is looking to capitalize on this shift, it’s choice to pursue millennials is a risky though potentially highly beneficial strategy. Millennials aren’t known for their love of paying for live TV. YouTube’s hope is that its brand and digital focus will (re)attract young people back to traditional TV.