A report from The Wall Street Journal says that YouTube is testing free TV channels with ads that show content from certain media companies. The idea is similar to those of Pluto TV, Roku’s Live TV channels, or the features built into TVs from Samsung, LG, and Vizio. There will be a “hub” where you can choose what to watch.
Some of the other companies in the space have made money with this idea. For example, Vizio and Roku’s earnings reports show that they make more money from advertising and commissions on subscriptions than they do from selling hardware. Recent reports show that Vizio makes an average of $27 per user per year, while Roku makes more than $44 per user per year.
The tests were confirmed by a YouTube representative who didn’t want to be named, and the report says the feature could be used by more people this year. It is said to be working with companies like Lionsgate and A&E. A&E owns channels like History, FYI, and Lifetime.
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YouTube has a history of offering premium content that is supported by ads. In 2022, it added free TV shows that were supported by ads. It had been doing the same thing with movies for years. The company added free channels through Pluto TV to its Google TV live tab last year.
From YouTube’s perspective, this is a very wise move. One more way for YouTube to be the place consumers choose to get entertained. And at this point, there is little doubt that free ad supported streaming channels are compelling to so many people around the world.
— Jason Kilar (@jasonkilar) January 13, 2023
There’s also YouTube TV, a paid service that lets people watch regular TV channels in the same way that they can watch YouTube videos. In the summer of 2016, YouTube said that about 5 million people had signed up for YouTube TV. There’s always a chance that YouTube TV could be used to market the free channels.
YouTube in the FAST lane: The Google unit is testing a new hub of free, cable-like ad-supported streaming channels with a small group of media companies that includes Lions Gate and A&E Networks — w/ @jtoonkel and @cityofthetown https://t.co/3FKeLWmRL5
— Sarah Krouse (@bysarahkrouse) January 13, 2023
Several other streaming services, like Netflix, HBO Max, Disney Plus, and Peacock, are adding cheaper or free tiers that are supported by ads.
Stay tuned to our website, NogMagazine.com for more updates.
Jessa Martin is the author of Nogmagazine, A professional in writing by day, and novelist by night, she received her bachelor of arts in film from Howard University and her master of arts in media studies from the New School. A Brooklyn native, she is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches, currently residing in the borough she loves, most likely multitasking.