YouTube Launches a Streaming Hub for Subscription Services

In Google’s ongoing bid to become a one-stop destination for video entertainment, the company’s YouTube has launched a U.S. streaming marketplace called Primetime Channels that debuts with 34 services, including Paramount+, Showtime, AMC+ and Starz. The company jumps in the ring with Amazon, Apple and Roku, all of which offer streaming subscriptions directly through their platforms, although none has managed to secure every major on-demand outlet. YouTube, the leader in free video streaming says it has integrated Primetime Channels among user-uploaded content, making it easy for viewers to hop from free trailers to subscription purchases.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the National Basketball Association has agreed to include its NBA League Pass games package to Primetime Channels at a later date. Subscription pricing through YouTube will “generally” be the same as that offered through direct purchase from the individual platforms, and “the streaming providers and YouTube will split revenues from any subscriptions and advertising sales gained through the feature.”

Google and parent Alphabet have increasingly leaned on subscription sales through YouTube and other offerings as industrywide ad sales contract due to the economic downturn. Alphabet’s Q3 ad revenue declined more than 9 percent (to nearly $56.3 billion) from Q2. While advertising rose 43 percent year-over-year, it accounted for an outsized 84 percent of $65 billion in Q3 revenue, announced last week.

“YouTube TV, a $64.99-a-month online package of cable channels introduced in 2017, crossed more than five million subscriptions and trial accounts in June, a comparable figure to Walt Disney Co.’s Hulu + Live TV offering,” WSJ writes, noting “subscription revenues from YouTube’s ad-free Premium offering and YouTube TV are expected to reach about $9.1 billion this year, according to Credit Suisse estimates.”

For streaming services, Primetime Channels offers exposure to YouTube’s large U.S. audience, estimated by Statista to hit 210 million in 2022. The Social Shepherd says 62 percent of U.S. Internet users access YouTube daily, and a whopping 98 percent monthly.

In September, the platform for the first time accounted for the lion’s share of streaming viewership on TVs, Nielsen reported. With its growing TV screen presence, YouTube is “at times both a direct competitor and potential partner for traditional entertainment companies,” WSJ writes.

Among those who see it as an opportunity is Paramount Streaming chief strategy officer Jeff Shultz, who told WSJ the new Primetime partnership provides a chance “to expand our presence on YouTube, broadening our reach and giving consumers even more choice.”

Other Primetime Channels include MGM’s Epix and TelevisaUnivision’s ViX+, “along with more than two dozen niche-oriented channels,” according to Variety, which concludes that “the menu of streaming options at launch reflects a divide that has become more apparent in the crowded streaming field, with a few players in the top ranks, notably Disney and Netflix, not jumping into a new hub in the name of boosting scale,” with their emphasis “on aiming to control their own subscriber destiny.”

No Comments Yet

You can be the first to comment!

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.