YouTube Tests Out Ad-Supported Free TV Channel Streaming

YouTube App on a big screen Smart TV.

At this point, it’s pretty clear that Google is going all-in on YouTube’s video streaming initiative. It’ll have the NFL Sunday Ticket starting next season, and now we’re hearing YouTube is testing a hub where it’ll offer cable-TV channels for free, but with ads.

YouTube wants to stream TV shows or films from some of the most popular media groups, which could help it reach its TV streaming goals. According to The Wall Street Journal, if the tests are positive, YouTube’s parent company, Alphabet, may move forward with the plan and offer a hub of TV streaming channels on YouTube.

The idea is to potentially take on Roku, Tubi, and PlutoTV in offering ad-supported streaming television channels. Some of those include TV and films from Lionsgate, A&E, and others, with more potentially coming.

You’ll be able to watch these on-demand cable TV channels for free, but with a few advertisements. There are similar options on the Roku platform, and many users have probably tried PlutoTV in the past.

YouTube already offers a small selection of ad-supported movies. When you combine this with YouTube’s new “Primetime Channels” hub, which offers subscriptions to streaming services like Showtime, EPIX, Paramount, and all your other favorite streaming services, it’s clear YouTube wants to take over streaming.

For those confused, this is different than YouTube TV, the company’s live-TV streaming service. Instead, this would be a hub inside the YouTube app where users can go and watch content for free, but with ads. This is only a test with a small group of users right now, but we could be hearing more about the idea soon.

via Engadget