YouTube launches its on-demand streaming television service in Playa Vista
By Christina Campodonico
YouTube sent ripples through the media industry back in February with the announcement of YouTube TV, a live and on-demand streaming television subscription service designed to compete directly with cable.
Company officials chose to break the news at YouTube Space L.A. in Playa Vista’s Hercules Campus.
“This Playa Vista space is the perfect setting to reveal it,” said YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, citing the facility’s mission to make video production resources more accessible to YouTube creators. “We built this space because we believe in removing barriers to storytelling, and with YouTube TV we’re doing just that for a younger generation.”
YouTube TV began servicing a limited number of major markets on April 5, including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, the San Francisco Bay Area and, of course, Playa Vista’s parent municipality — Los Angeles.
Aiming to appeal to cord-cutting millennials and others who want to watch TV when, where and how they choose, YouTube TV offers more than 40 television networks on demand through phones, computers, tablets and Google Chromecast-enabled TVs. Subscribers get up to six accounts per household for $35 per month.
Service includes the four major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC) and a number of cable, sports and news channels, such as USA, FX, ESPN, Fox Sports Network, Disney Channel and MSNBC. AMC, BBC America, IFC, Sundance TV, WE tv, Telemundo and BBC World News are expected to come on board soon, according to a company statement, while users can add on Showtime, Fox Soccer Plus, Sundance Now or Shudder for additional charges.
Through YouTube TV’s app, subscribers can record programs or watch live TV from any of YouTube TV’s partners, “cast” programs from a mobile device to a Chromecast-enabled TV screen, search for new shows, and access YouTube Red’s original programing as well as YouTube’s vast catalogue of online videos. Other features include unlimited DVR storage in the cloud (which will store your recordings for up to nine months) and personalized programming recommendations.
At February’s press conference, Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan expressed excitement about YouTube TV’s entry into the video on-demand ecosystem.
“We really do believe this is the future of media consumption,” he said. “That’s the journey I think we’re starting on today. Our long-term vision is to really reimagine how TV is watched.”
Now that consumers can try out YouTube TV for themselves, the company is offering free one-month trials at tv.youtube.com.