In the past few years, YouTube has made a lot of changes. They've added new services, such as YouTube Premium (previously YouTube Red) and YouTube TV. They've created original content and licensed movies and TV shows. They even began retiring Google Play Music in favor of YouTube Music. This week, some new additions are being added to several of the YouTube properties.
It would appear that YouTube is being incredibly inspired by Netflix, as the company has confirmed that they are working on interactive or choose your own adventure style programming. After the social media success of Netflix's Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, and the release of the new You vs Wild, it is no surprise that YouTube would pick up on this style of programming. Based on previous rumors, it will be interesting to see if they hide this program behind the YouTube Premium paywall, or if this will be available for all viewers. It will also be interesting to see if YouTube makes the technology that makes this possible available to all creators.
The YouTube TV streaming service launched 2 years ago for $35 per month. It competed with Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, Hulu with Live TV, and more. The big selling point was towards cord cutters who were looking to lower their bills on unnecessary services, like cable TV. Since then, the brand seems to have lost its focus, adding mandatory channels and increasing the monthly price as a result. The cord cutters have had to make a decision as to whether the service was worth the more expensive prices, and that is about to happen again.
The monthly price for YouTube TV is about to increase to $50 per month. That is more than I pay per month for traditional cable service, which comes with hundreds upon hundreds of channels. The enhanced price for YouTube TV will come with more than 70 channels, including the newly added Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, Food Network, HGTV, Investigation Discovery, MotorTrend, TLC, and Travel Channel. All of those networks have limited, niche appeal, but will be mandatory on your plan.
It feels like YouTube TV is falling into the same trap that cable TV, as well as a number of the alternative services, have fallen into: one big bundle. Cord cutters are looking for the ability to customize their services in order to cut costs, but this does just the opposite. Streaming TV service might want to work harder to create customizable packages to attract that core customer.