According to a new report from The Information, the company is in talks to offer third-party subscriptions through YouTube to services from networks such as Showtime, HBO, Netflix and CBS All Access.
Third-party channels are an integral part of both Apple and Amazon’s TV business, with BMO Capital Markets projecting that Amazon “would make $2.6 billion from its channels product in 2019, growing to $3.6 billion in 2020.” Amazon currently offers access to more than 200 channels through Fire TV. Both Apple and Amazon receive between 30-50% of the subscription fees.
Such a move would be considered a positive way for YouTube to maintain and improve its market share of viewing time which, in the US, sits at approximately 21% of all streaming according to Nielsen.
However, one potential pitfall for YouTube is that this offer could confuse its product.
YouTube already offers a cord-cutting streamer in the US – YouTube TV – which serves as a competitor to the likes of Hulu Plus Live TV and the now defunct PlayStation Vue. It starts at US$50 a month for a range of channels and currently has more than 2 million subscribers.
The report from The Information is unsure about whether YouTube’s channels would be tied into its YouTube TV product or if it would be separate.
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