May 4th, 2016

Hot off the heels of the Hulu’s confirmation of a live TV service, a new report has surfaced claiming that YouTube has been planning something similar. It’s called “Unplugged”  and YouTube has reportedly been working on it since 2012, but was met with stiff opposition from the likes of NBC/Comcast, CBS and other network television companies who were less than thrilled about it.

One of the biggest hurdles for YouTube seems to be the price point. The company wants to set the starting price of Unplugged at less than $35, where as big dogs like CBS think that the new providers should be paying more per channel than existing partners. This seems to be a big sticking point in most negotiations, as rumors have been swirling for some time in regards to Apple and Amazon working on similar TV provider solutions.

In addition to the base subscription fee of $35, YouTube would charge extra for specific groups of content such as comedy or sports.

“Using this approach, YouTube could show it is capable of bringing new viewers to many of these second-tier channels, a major concern for large media companies that depend on TV for most of their profits. If YouTube can make it work, media companies may be more open to including more-successful channels later, one of the people familiar said.”

YouTube has already been working on creating a new platform for original content with the release of YouTube Red last year. That service costs $9.99 per month and not only removes pesky ads from YouTube videos, but also provides exclusive content that can’t be found elsewhere. It seems that YouTube has been gearing up for this transition into the TV business, even if it wasn’t obvious.

[via Bloomberg]

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