Go ahead and add another player in the ever-contentious battle for your eyeballs. On Tuesday, Google’s YouTube announced YouTube TV, a live streaming service with access to CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX and ESPN, along with a number of cable channels.
Marketplace’s Adriene Hill visited YouTube Space LA, the scene of YouTube’s announcement, and spoke to host Kai Ryssdal from there. An edited transcript of their conversation appears below.
Kai Ryssdal: All right, this is a big deal, actually, walk me through it. What’s so special?
Adriene Hill: YouTube is basically launching a service that’s gonna combine the YouTube content we know and love with live national and local television. It’s got the big networks signed on, a bunch of cable networks are here, and they’re looking for the magical combo that’ll get more people cutting the cord.
Ryssdal: It’s a space that’s getting crowded very quickly, right?
Hill: There are already a number of services out there trying to figure this out: Dish has Sling TV, Sony has PlayStation Vue, Hulu is reportedly working on a live TV service, and Apple TV — at this point, your guess is as good as mine, but Tim Cook in a recent earnings call basically predicted the demise of the traditional cable bundle.
Ryssdal: What is YouTube’s special sauce here then?
Hill: There’s a couple of things it’s offering … one is the integration of YouTube content with traditional TV. And this makes some sense if you think about. YouTube says around the world, people watch a billion hours of YouTube content a day — I double checked this because I was like, there’s no way that could be true. So that content will be there right along with television and the original content YouTube has been producing for [subscription service] YouTube Red. They are also promising to use everything they know about search to help make the process of finding the next show or the next thing you want to watch better, and the biggie here, Kai, for the folks who want to record television, they’re offering a cloud with no DVR limits, so record away.
Ryssdal: So for those of us who wind up going through and deleting our kids’ programs, is kind of a big deal. We should say here that YouTube is owned by Google, that’s how they know the search thing. What’s this thing going to cost me, and can I get it today when I go home?
Hill: You cannot get it today when you go home. They’re working on it right now. They’re promising to charge $35, which puts it in line with some of the other services out there, but that’s for six accounts, Kai, so you and your kids can all have different personalized recommendations and your different DVR clouds.
Ryssdal: Which settles the whole, “who’s it for?” thing, right? Because it’s for me and my kids as well.
Hill: So if they’re super into magic videos, they’re not going to pop up in your queue.