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YouTube is the one company that has a chance to de-throne the cable companies. A recent addition to the fray of companies ousting cable companies from their throne, YouTube is in a unique position compared to others.
Used by a billion people per day, it comes pre-installed on every device and TV, the brand recognition is off the charts, and its primary demographic is young, cord-free users who’ve been using YouTube as a viewing platform as long as they can remember. With all these advantages, YouTube is the one company that truly has the potential to change how television works.
The single biggest advantage that YouTube TV carries is brand recognition. People know that it’s a trusted video delivery service, users know how it works, and it’s already on just about every phone, smart TV and device available. YouTube TV is a game changer for the world of video content that no one else can match. Think about it from the perspective of a teenager who has never considered paying for TV. It’s an all-in-one view of every show, sport, video, and YouTuber that you watch, delivered on the device you have with you all the time, wholly delivered in a format you understand from an app you’ve used since you gained Internet access.
It redefines the TV-watching experience for older viewers. By adding a YouTube TV subscription, viewers who have heard of YouTube but aren’t experienced users will add major broadcast networks, popular cable networks, and can choose from premium networks. They’ll also discover a whole new world of unique content, trending videos, and YouTube Red Originals served up on the TV, computer, tablet or phone.
Internet TV has a history of long wait times and slow downloads. Who could forget the McGregor vs. Merriweather fight that took down Showtime’s pay-per-view servers this year? Or the frustrating buffering of HBO’s Game of Thrones season finale?
YouTube TV has years of experience and a video-serving infrastructure that no other streaming service can match. It’s reported that more than 400 hours of content are being uploaded to YouTube every minute. There’s an enormous learning curve that YouTube has already scaled, in leadership, technology, and content delivery. YouTube TV is likely to skip over the streaming startups and deliver a reliable and flawless video performance to users.
The YouTube TV lineup looks great for cord cutters. It includes live streams of all major broadcast networks, like ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, The CW, as well as Telemundo. For cable news channels, YouTube TV includes CNBC, Fox News, and MSNBC.
Live sports offerings include ESPN, Fox Sports, Big Ten and CBS Sports. Like all streaming services, blackout restrictions dictate what can be viewed live depending on your physical location.
Pro Tip: YouTube TV users can’t watch NFL on their phones because Verizon owns those rights exclusively, but you can watch it via your computer. The exclusivity for Verizon users is only enforced for live broadcasts, so if you record it, you can watch it anywhere.
YouTube TV offers an unlimited amount of storage on the cloud-based DVR. No other service can match that, and it continues to change the way we watch TV by making it an on-demand experience.
Pro Tip: Recordings are deleted automatically after nine months.
Start your YouTube TV subscription with a free trial. After that, it’s $35 plus tax per month.
Your family can set up as many as six individual profiles within your account. Your recommendations, history, and preferences are all unique to each profile. The power of experience and ownership are evident with the powerful search capabilities. Google and YouTube have been perfecting this technology for a decade, and it shows with their recommendations and query capabilities.
Pro Tip: YouTube TV does not support purchases made with prepaid credit cards. Cost per month if you sign up through iTunes is $39.99 plus tax per month.
If you live in a location where YouTube TV has launched, you’ll have access to local networks, national networks, and your DVR recordings. You are required to set your home address when you sign up, but it will work everywhere in the US as long as you have GPS enabled. You’ll only have access to local networks in your home area, but all of your recordings will be saved to your DVR no matter where you are traveling.
Pro Tip: If you're away from home, wait to sign up until you return home.
YouTubers are thrilled about having access to new viewers, and they’re flattered by the idea of having their series and movies on the same slate of programming as the major TV networks.
YouTube leaps into position as a content provider, becomes a primary interface for video consumption and gets all of the data about usage and viewing patterns.
Pro tip: Paying for YouTube TV doesn’t remove ads from everyday YouTube like a subscription to YouTube Red. It will give you access to Red’s content, but for the ad-free version, you need a separate subscription to YouTube Red.
Among a fairly crowded field, YouTube is the sole provider that has the brand power to redefine what we know as television. With a large base of loyal users who like TV but don’t like the antiquated distribution model, YouTube TV is poised to change the way in which we all view video content. It’s a switch from video consumption through a cable company to a unified portal for independent content, sponsored content, and major network shows viewed primarily through a handheld device.
Megan Southard is a writer, mom, technology enthusiast, and movie junkie. She dreads the day her kids have to explain gadgets to her and is old enough to say, "I was the remote for our TV growing up."
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