SAN BRUNO, CALIFORNIA
YouTube—which launched in 2005 as a de facto forum for people’s home video clips of their cats, children, and home repair mishaps; but is now considered the second most popular website on the internet—has rolled out subscription service YouTube TV in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco/Oakland, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Users can, for $35 per month, receive a streaming bundle with content from ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, The CW, MSNBC, Syfy, FX, E! Disney, ESPN, Fox Sports, Bravo, and others; reportedly, AMC, BBC America, IFC, Sundance TV, WE TV, and BBC World News will be added shortly. YouTube TV includes access to its other subscription service, YouTube Red Originals, and a membership includes six accounts. Early adopters of the service will receive a free Google Chromecast device that allows them to stream via a TV set. The move is a direct challenge to streaming platforms such as Hulu and AT&T’s DirecTV Now, and with the marketing muscle of parent company Google—which acquired YouTube in 2006—behind the service, it has the potential to remake (or wreak havoc within, depending on one’s outlook) the TV streaming industry. And no, this is not one of YouTube’s legendary April Fools pranks; the news was announced on April 5.