YouTube TV isn’t special, but it’s one of a coming wave

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

1 March 2017

Still waiting for the one TV streaming service to take control

Google announced yesterday that it’s joining the horde of companies going after traditional cable companies. No, it’s not with Chromecast. It’s a soon-to-be released service, YouTube TV.

Last week, I wrote that the current streaming market is confusing. Yes, YouTube TV adds to that confusing mix. But it doesn’t really add anything new.

“But these content producers see the writing on the wall. A new model for broadcast TV has arrived.”

In fact, YouTube TV is missing some key pieces. You can’t add on HBO, for one.

YouTube TVThe price of YouTube TV matches other services with a $35 per month fee. Who knows which service is better. Some sport more channels. But the sheer number of channels does not demonstrate which one is actually better.

That being said, debating which service is better is beside the point.

One thing is clear. The sheer number of services entering this category proves one thing. There is consumer demand. And, predictably, companies are responding.

These streaming companies are eliminating long-term contracts and having separate equipment. Both are pluses for the consumer.

I wrote last week that a company could seize market share by owning an identity and simplifying the category. That is absolutely true. But I failed to add a key component. Choice.

The key to this whole streaming cornucopia is quite simple – let customers choose which channels they want.

The issues with YouTube TV and others

But there are issues. First, you must have high-speed internet. Unfortunately, that usually comes from a cable provide. That providers wants you to bundle internet and TV so you can get a discount on both. And streaming takes a massing amount of date, especially if you plan on watching your streaming service through a mobile device on a 4G network.

Regardless of which service you choose, you are still stuck with a channel lineup. Sure, you may have 60 channels. But only want 15. However, you might not get the ones you want. I don’t see BBC America or TNT in the YouTube TV line up, for example.

Economics are involved. Channels don’t want to lose viewership because they need it for advertising revenue. The same company owns many channels, so they need to package them together in order to build up viewership of the new ones.

But these content producers see the writing on the wall. A new model for broadcast TV has arrived.

Moreover, it does not make the channel more desirable when media companies keep those channels from airing on streaming services. It makes it less desirable. Consumers will eventually forget about you. Better to join them than try to beat them.

I don’t see anyone doing anything about the first issue at this point. But the second?

I tell you this, the first streaming service that can offer real choice, without compromise, will change the category in much of the same way Netflix killed Blockbuster.

So, although the streaming TV category is overly confusing with overlapping and missing services, the interest by both consumers and providers is good for the category.

See more posts in the following related categories: Google Netflix YouTube TV


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