Will YouTube TV Turn You Into A Cord-Cutter?
If you've tuned in to the 2017 World Series, you couldn't help but notice Google's multi-front marketing blitz pitching YouTube TV on Fox Sports, digital ads on MLB sites, player promos of YouTube TV across social media sites, and banner ads on the fence behind home plate. So is YouTube TV a cord-cutting option that will save you money? Read on…
What is YouTube TV?
Whether by luck or cunning, YouTube TV’s banner ad and Fox’s camera angle combined to put the familiar red-and-white “Play” button right in the center of viewers’ screens, creating the illusion that they were seeing a YouTube video queued up and ready to start. Some fans loved it, and some hated the distraction. But every red-blooded American watching the World Series noticed it.
YouTube TV was launched in April, 2017. The idea is to stream live and on-demand TV to subscribers for around $35 per month. That would be a godsend alternative to cable TV bills that cost American households over $103 per month right now, on average, if it can include the content that viewers want at such a price. You can sign up and watch free for 7 days, to see what YouTube TV offers in your area.
The premium YouTube TV offering is now available in 49 of the top 50 TV markets in the USA; you can check here to see if your city is one of them. About half of American households are covered. Anyone can watch YouTube TV anywhere there’s Internet access, but to get local programming like news, you need to be in one of the covered areas.
YouTube TV does have an impressive channel lineup from major broadcast networks, popular cable networks, and premium networks. Networks currently available on YouTube TV include ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, AMC, BBC, Bravo, CW, Disney Channel, ESPN, FOX News, Fox Sports, FX, MSNBC, Nat Geo, many regional sports networks, and others.
You can watch YouTube TV on your smartphone, tablet, or with a web browser on your computer. You can also watch YouTube TV on your TV using a Chromecast device, a TV with Chromecast built-in, or via AirPlay for Apple TV. Roku is not yet supported, but is said to be coming soon.
Another nice feature is YouTube TV's "Cloud DVR" which lets you record your favorite shows so you can watch them later. You get unlimited online storage for recorded shows for up to nine months. It's a plus that recordings don't take up space on your computer or mobile device, but you do need an internet connection to view your recorded programs.
Subscriptions Are Gaining Momentum
YouTube’s free service now serves 1.5 billion monthly viewers. That’s a great base from which to build a legion of subscribers. But people are notoriously unwilling to pay for online content. However, even that conventional wisdom is changing.
Netflix launched streaming video subscriptions ten years ago. Streaming is now the fastest-growing part of the company’s business. Netflix made paying for online video content mainstream, encouraging others like YouTube TV. Apple’s iTunes normalized streaming music subscriptions, and if you’re going to pay for streamed songs why not pay for streamed TV? Others find that paying for content means fewer intrusive ads on their TV, computer and mobile screens.
Surprising many statisticians and pundits, Millennials have taken to paying for digital content faster than their elders. Many 18-34 year-olds have never paid a cable TV bill. They’re even paying for news; digital subscriptions are booming at The New York Times, Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. People are finally getting over the “information wants to be free” fallacy; in reality, information is most valuable when it can circulate freely, but it never costs nothing to produce and disseminate it.
YouTube TV puts even more pressure on cable and satellite monopolies. Comcast reported in October that it lost TV subscribers faster than it gained new ones during the third quarter, for a new loss of 124,000 subscribers; that figure was 34,000 net lost subscribers in Q2. Also in October, 5 out of the 7 largest cable and satellite TV services lost over 800,000 subscribers combined.
Google often tries to jump-start trends. This time, the company seems to have jumped on a bandwagon at exactly the right time, just as it’s accelerating. With Google’s marketing muscle behind it, YouTube TV stands an excellent chance of success, and that success will help other cord-cutting options succeed.
Will you try YouTube TV, or one of the other "cord cutting" options to replace your cable TV subscription? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 31 Oct 2017
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Will YouTube TV Turn You Into A Cord-Cutter? (Posted: 31 Oct 2017)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved