Why it matters: YouTube is one of the largest platforms on the internet, with over 2 billion active users per month, and it wants to keep it that way. To maintain its numbers and continue growing, Google partnered with multiple streaming platforms to create a service with YouTube as the hub.
YouTube is no stranger to paid subscription services. The website launched YouTube Premium (formerly called YouTube Red) in 2015, introducing many perks and features to users who decided to pay for it. The service has proven successful for Google, gaining over 50 million subscribers by Q3 2021.
Google also launched YouTube TV to compete with cable companies and other live-television streaming platforms. As of 2022, YouTube TV is the most successful of these services, with an impressive 5 million users, edging out Hulu + Live TV.To potentially bring more viewers to the platform, Google is launching "Primetime Channels." The feature acts as a hub for other TV services, like Paramount+ and Showtime, offering users a one-stop shop for all their streaming.
The idea is not new. Amazon Prime and smart TVs have been doing this for a while now. Users can subscribe to over 30 channels through YouTube and watch them within the website or app.
Integrating the service into YouTube provides excellent convenience for users. One can hypothetically view a Hardware Unboxed video and immediately swap to their favorite show on Paramount+ without leaving the YouTube platform.
The long list of services coming with the initial launch of Primetime Channels include:
- Acorn TV
- Here TV
- Comedy Dynamics
- Up Faith & Family
- Hallmark Movies Now
- All BLK
- Dove Channel
- Law & Crime
- Outside TV+
- Atres Player
- Magnolia Selects
- The Great Courses
It is worth noting that users will only have access to the streaming catalog of shows or movies from these platforms. Users must view live TV options through the provider. For instance, services such as Paramount+ have live local CBS coverage. However, Primetime Channels will not support live content, only video on demand.
It is unclear whether subscriptions purchased through Primetime Channels can be used outside of YouTube or if the subscription is tied directly to your account. Google will likely answer this question once the service is available to users. However, judging by other services, like Amazon Prime, subscriptions are tethered to the hosting platform.
Primetime Channels was supposed to roll out today, but it was not active for us at the time of publication.