YouTube TV and cable: it all comes down to choice
Our group head of engagement, John Brown, looks at how choice is key when it comes to the TV market
Today we wake up to the news that Google’s video platform, YouTube, is set to make a play for the lucrative cable TV market with YouTube TV.
First, let’s take a look at the benefits. The new live service is going to launch with 40 channels, including the likes of ESPN and ABC providing everything from live sports through to trashy sitcoms and must see series.
Users can record live shows and not have to worry about running out of space as everything sits in the cloud. With the added benefits of being accessible everywhere, a price point of $35 for the full bundle and a no commitments contract, this is a serious move to turn the traditional cable TV approach on its head.
Perhaps the most important thing in all of this is choice. While the whole shebang costs $35 dollars, people can opt for a skinny option, which just serves them the channels they genuinely watch.
Here in lies the biggest kick in the nuts for the traditional providers. They don’t want you to have choice. They make their margin by bundling the crap stuff up with a couple of good channels, giving you the illusion of value, while marking up the cost in order to make a nice fat profit.
Today, our consumers want to only pay for what they use. If this means paying slightly more per channel, then that’s fine. Ultimately, they want to curate the content that is only relevant for them rather than have 350 channels to sift through when realistically they only ever watch a few.
It’s the honest, transparent, relationship that today’s audiences crave. ‘I pay you this much and you give me exactly this in return’.
This is why the YouTube TV announcement is so significant. It’s not the content. YouTube will be showing the same stuff as people with traditional cable connections. The storage is null and void as well – I doubt people notice the difference between two terabytes and unlimited storage.
It’s the choice.
We choose to watch TV on our phones or our 40 inch. We choose to only watch the channels we like.
Soon, we’ll all choose to watch TV in this way.