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Google wants YouTube to control the TV UXnScreenMedia

Google says it wants YouTube to be the one-stop-shop for video content. Here are all the things it is doing to accomplish that goal and how each is doing in the market.

Are you watching more YouTube on TV? I know YouTube has become the go-to place for casual viewing in my house. It fills those moments while waiting for my spouse to watch something meatier, to entertain while folding laundry, or when we don’t want to make a bigger commitment to a serious show. Well, YouTube is leaning into that role but wants to be so much more. We’ll be talking about its intentions today in the podcast. But first…

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YouTube aims to be your default TV app (2:00)

Speaking in Alphabet’s Q1 2023 earnings call, Philipp Schindler, SVP and CBO, Google had this to say about where the company wants YouTube to go:

“The goal is to be a one-stop shop for multiple types of video content across both ad-supported and premium services.”

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet and Google, expanded on that, saying the living room was the fastest-growing screen for the service.

The company is going about it in several ways, so let’s review each.

YouTube TV (2:45)

US vMVPD subscribers by serviceYouTube TV continues to lead the pack in the vMVPD market and could extend its lead. According to Ruth Porat, CFO of Alphabet and Google:

Other Revenues were $7.4 billion, up 9%, reflecting primarily ongoing significant subscriber growth in YouTube TV and YouTube Music Premium.”

Last time the company gave an update on YouTube TV last year, it said the service had 5 million subscribers. Hulu Live has 4.5 million subscribers, and Sling TV has 2.3 million subscribers. The $8 increase in the subscription price could slow growth in the middle part of the year. But it remains a good, full-featured option for those not ready to let go of the traditional pay TV experience.

YouTube Primetime Channels (5:00)

YouTube entered the SVOD aggregation market late last year with the launch of Primetime Channels. The feature is very like Amazon Channels. A user can buy a subscription to Showtime or Starz, watch the content inside the YouTube app, and manage and pay for the subscription through Google Wallet.

YouTube has also begun selling NFL Sunday Ticket through Primetime Channels for the upcoming 2023-24 season. Again, all the games will be watched on YouTube. It costs $349 for the season and $389 with NFL Redzone. A YouTube TV subscriber can also get NFL Sunday Ticket, though it costs $100 less than through YouTube. BTW There is a $100 discount on all packages through June 6th, 2023.

Once a user subscribes to the content, they can also search for it from the YouTube search bar, where they will find user-generated content about the show.

It’s early days for Primetime Channels, but the company says it has good momentum behind the SVOD store.

Free movies and TV (8:00)

A rotating set of premium movies on TV shows has been available on YouTube for quite a while. The company will continue to rotate content in and out of the service. For example, right now, you can watch Arrival, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Out of the Shadows, and The Dukes of Hazzard.

Rent or buy movies (8:50)

You can also rent and buy the latest movies on YouTube. Ant-Man and Wasp: Quantumania is available to buy, and Black Adam can be rented or purchased. And YouTube can also manage all your purchased content, including titles added to a Movies Anywhere wallet.

top online movie stores Q2 2022The YouTube Movie and TV store is the third most popular, with 12.1% of US and Canadians saying they use it. However, it is behind Disney+ Premier Access (13.7%) and market leader Amazon Prime (31%.)

So, YouTube now supports all the business models it needs to, can provide the most popular UGC and premium content, and simplify managing and accessing the content. And many people want a one-stop shop for all their content needs. It’s not perfect: the top SVOD services are not available on YouTube, but neither are they on The Roku Channels and Amazon Channels. But for many people, it could be all they need!

If you’d like a rough transcript of today’s podcast, head over to the nScreenMedia website. There are diagrams that should help you understand YouTube’s position in the market. Post a comment about the podcast while you’re there too. And why not sign up for the free newsletter?


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