YouTube is exploring the integration of TV stations on its streaming platform. YouTube would be adding a format that would appear to be distant from its original concept of an infinite container of on-demand content. However, YouTube has embraced the notion of live streaming in recent years, with the company enhancing its interface for live broadcasts to compete with rival live streaming services such as Twitch. For years, YouTube’s aim to become the “new television” by adding TV series and movies to its platform has been evident.
The integration of TV channels would be free and ad-supported, thereby operating as a television broadcaster on the internet. According to a YouTube spokesman, it is currently in the testing phase, which stated that “certain users have been given a chance to view free channels with advertising” to gauge their interest and price it accordingly. This move would also provide a substantial income for YouTube, which currently earns significant money through advertisements.
YouTube is seeking a 45% cut of ad income, comparable to its contract with content providers on its platform. This proposal would put YouTube against competitors like Roku and Samsung, who have long provided free ad-supported TV channels through their platforms. However, YouTube’s experience may differ since it may smoothly provide its customers with quick access to a range of other content on its platform.
YouTube has also attempted to improve its content in recent years, including a multi-year agreement to offer NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTube TV and Primetime Channels beginning in 2023. The platform has also grown by introducing YouTube TV, a distinct online streaming service offering over a hundred TV channels, much like a typical cable or satellite provider. In an attempt to compete with TikTok, YouTube has expanded into Shorts.
YouTube’s integration of TV channels is still in the testing phase, but if successful, it may represent a huge step forward for the site, placing it as a competitor to established television broadcasters.