YouTube is reportedly working on a subscription-based streaming service called "Unplugged" for cord cutters, offering a bundle of broadcast and cable channels for a set price. The report from Bloomberg claims YouTube is in talks with most major media companies like CBS and Viacom, but no deals have been made yet.
Apparently the company has been exploring such a service since 2012, but is ramping up efforts to debut as soon as 2017. YouTube is aiming to offer a “skinny” bundle for a base package at under $35 a month, with themed packs offering additional channels for a fee. That’s pretty much the same SlingTV is doing and what Apple reportedly discussed with media companies before putting its plans on hold.
The service would represent yet another venue for YouTube to offer and monetize video content, running alongside the main ad-supported site and YouTube Red which gets rids of ads and includes some exclusive content as well as music videos for $9.99 a month.
Hulu is also planning to launch its own streaming television service in 2017. As confirmed by Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins said at the company's annual Upfront Presentation today, the service would offer subscribers the ability to watch both live and on-demand programs.