New market considerations for Platform Giant
After several years of dominating the television industry, YouTube has finally joined the TV business. The Google-owned video giant launched YouTube TV on Wednesday as a live television service which seeks to compete against other Internet-based services including, Sling TV from Dish and AT&Ts DirectTV Now.
YouTube TV launched in five major markets including Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco/ Bay Area, Chicago, and Philadelphia with more cities to be added to the launch list. The platform, which unveiled a preview of its services in late February, is starting off with a package that will have more than 50 channels including major local broadcast TV networks for a price of $35 per month.
The service is initially going to be offered on smartphones, web browsers and smartphones along with support for the Chromecast streaming adapter and TVs with Chromecast technology already built in. YouTube TV claimed it is going to add support for more connected television devices later in the year.
Market Considerations for Platform Giant
YouTube is of the opinion that it can persuade a new audience that previously did not consider paying for TV in the first place, though they know it is an uphill task.
Kelly Merryman, YouTube’s vice president for content partnerships stated, “There are a lot of ‘cord-never’—millennials who never sign on for cable.”
Apparently, they love television programming, but just do not appreciate distribution, which means TV on any device on demand. YouTube comes available with a built cachet as it jumps into the fray, not just for name recognition, but as a platform and service that is used by over one billion people.
However, there are a few roadblocks which could present problems for the newly launched platform. As mentioned before; YouTube is hardly the first in the live Internet TV market. It is going up against Sling TV, Sony PlayStation Vue and Hulu’s new upcoming platform which will debut later in the year.
The thing is, not one of these platforms really took off in the first place. Analysts provide an estimate that Sling TV, which is the most popular of the services, has about one million subscribers, which mean that YouTube has a lot of room as far as market share is concerned. Though these were also big names in the market, their performance in the market could be a forewarning to the video platform giant.
Can YouTube Make It?
That being said, YouTube‘s name itself carries weight as a signifier for the viewing habits of individuals that are migrating online. Similarly, for networks and advertisers, taking part in the platform’s launch may seem like a better idea than saying no.
If any platform is likely to be ‘the brand’ for this venture, it would be YouTube. To not participate as more viewers look to the Internet for video may mean ‘throwing oneself under the bus.’
This is if YouTube TV fulfills its potential in the long run. Thus far, customer reviews claim the platform is fun, though the interface settings are mildly frustrating. This should dissipate as both viewer and platform adjust to a rhythm.