YouTube today officially announced its new streaming television service, YouTube TV, reports Recode. Priced at $35 per month, YouTube TV features access to ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and approximately 30 major cable channels, with television content available alongside YouTube’s own video content.
Separate from YouTube Red, the new TV service will be available as a standalone app that’s launching later this year. While it will be available on laptops and TVs through Chromecast, YouTube TV is said to be focused on a “mobile first” experience, with YouTube expecting most users to watch on smartphones and tablets.
At launch, available channels will be limited to cable networks owned by companies that also own broadcast networks, but that could change in the future.
One thing that distinguishes YouTube TV from its competitors is that while it will feature cable networks owned by companies that also own broadcast networks — so it will offer both ESPN and ABC, both owned by Disney — it doesn’t feature any networks owned by programmers that operate exclusively on pay TV, like Viacom, AMC or Time Warner.
YouTube TV features include cloud DVR options with unlimited storage space, an AI-powered recommendation system, and service that scales reliably for no launch-time outages.
At $35 per month, YouTube TV is at the price point Apple hoped to achieve when it was working on its own now-shelved television streaming service. It’s also a price point that’s competitive with offerings like DirecTV Now, Sling TV, and PlayStation Vue.
YouTube has been working on a streaming television service for more than two years, and while it was originally rumored to be called “Unplugged,” the company appears to have gone with a simpler name. Compared to competing TV services, YouTube TV could potentially have an edge given its impressive existing user base.
Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal suggested people around the world are watching more than 1 billion hours of YouTube videos every day.
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