YouTube has announced a live TV service for the US that includes channels from the most popular cable networks for $35 per month. It also features a cloud DVR with unlimited storage and is available across your screens.
Update 5.4.2017: The YouTube TV service is now live in five US markets (New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Chicago)
YouTube live TV service
It is not Netflix, HBO Now or Amazon Prime. This is the old-school TV experience, built on linear channels, brought into a modern context via apps. For a company as forward-looking as Google that may seem like a strange move but the company believes that it can add a lot to the classic TV experience.
YouTube TV, as the service has been dubbed, will offer live TV streaming from ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN, regional sports networks and “dozens of popular cable networks”. More than 40 networks in total for a monthly fee of $35 dollars. Expect to see tons of ads.
On top of that you will get what Google hopes will differentiate YouTube TV from the pack. There is a “cloud DVR” with no storage limits, meaning that you can record as many shows as you want, simultaneously. The service all works across your screens, meaning mobile, tablet, PC, and of course TVs. It is supported on both Android and iOS, and supports Chromecast. The company made no mention of an app for Android TV, which is… strange.
Google says that you can cancel anytime and that the price includes six accounts, meaning that each member of the family can have individualized recommendations. YouTube Red content is also included in the price.
To be clear, this is a US-only service that will be very hard to scale globally. In the competition with the TV services of tomorrow such as Netflix and Amazon, Google will have to convince people to embrace what is old and familiar.
The company promotes the service as “half the cost of cable with zero commitments” and says that it will launch in the “largest US markets” over the next few months.
YouTube TV – in Google’s own words
Live TV streaming from ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN, regional sports networks and dozens of popular cable networks. YouTube TV gives you the best of live TV, from must-see broadcast shows like “Empire,” “The Voice,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “Scandal,” to the live sports you want. YouTube TV includes major sports networks like ESPN and regional sports networks like Fox Sports Networks and Comcast SportsNet, so you can watch your favorite NBA or MLB teams. We’ve also partnered with local TV stations, so you’ll also get sports and local news based on where you live. And YouTube TV offers dozens of additional cable channels, so you won’t miss out on the latest news from MSNBC or Fox News, popular shows and movies from USA or FX, kids programming from the Disney Channel or Sprout, or reality TV from E! or Bravo. You can also add Showtime, or Fox Soccer Plus to your networks for an additional charge. In total, YouTube TV gives you access to more than 40 networks, listed below.
A cloud DVR, with no storage limits. With YouTube TV, you’ll be able to record live TV and never run out of storage. Your cloud DVR can record as many shows as you want, simultaneously, without using precious data or space on your phone and we’ll store each of your recordings for nine months.
A service that works great on all your screens. You can watch YouTube TV on any screen—mobile, tablet or computer—and you can easily stream to your TV with a Google Chromecast or Chromecast built-in TV. YouTube TV works on both Android and iOS. And your cloud DVR goes with you, so you can stream your recordings on any device, whenever and wherever you want.
YouTube Red Originals. With a YouTube TV membership, you can watch all of our YouTube Red Original series and movies right on the new YouTube TV app.
Six accounts, one price. Every YouTube TV membership comes with six accounts, each with its own unique recommendations and personal DVR with no storage limits. You can watch up to three concurrent streams at a time.
Half the cost of cable with zero commitments. A YouTube TV membership is only $35 a month and there are no commitments—you can cancel anytime.