YouTube Seeks Slice of OTT Pie

YouTube is reportedly investigating licensing TV and film content for its new streaming subscription service, Red.

Providing premium content would make YouTube's $9.99 over-the-top (OTT) video service directly competitive with the streaming services from Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), Hulu LLC , Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) Prime, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) Watchable and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) Go90. (See Operators Blunder in Online Video Era).

They're all positioned as alternatives to the VoD services of traditional pay-TV service providers -- some competitively, some complementary. One interesting difference is that YouTube appears to have more immediate international potential.

YouTube Inc. has hired executives from Netflix and MTV, and they are looking into possible licensing arrangements, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Red's current value is built on providing YouTube content without ads, considered a boon mostly for people who line up music videos as "radio" playlists. YouTube does already host some long-form content, including a hodgepodge of films (e.g., Death Race 2000, The Flim-Flam Man, The Girl With the Pearl Earring) and TV shows (e.g., Space 1999, Married With Children), but the company has no corporate control over most of it.

— Brian Santo, Senior Editor, Components, T&M, Light Reading

kq4ym 12/14/2015 | 8:05:00 PM
Re: Original programming? With YouTube's recent entry into gaming video for the younger crowd, it would seem prudent to also get into the production of entertainment shows and agreements with the traditional entertainment producers, in addition to it's current stable of YouTube stars which seem to be targeted as well to the youthful audience.
mhhf1ve 12/9/2015 | 3:40:08 PM
Original programming? I know YouTube is incubating some "YouTube stars" to do some short form videos, but does this Red strategy mean that YouTube might be funding original series like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Yahoo, etc? It seems like something YouTube *might* do in the future.... 

Or will YouTube try to buy up Vimeo or some other platform to get high quality original videos? 
steve q 12/4/2015 | 11:53:01 PM
Re: Getting crowded... I know one thing is Verizon is going to miss most of what ever going to happen if they do not push  Fios video/data. The G90 is ok if you can get a better  Family data  plan. The cost of  just to watch basic cable program when you can push most of it over the internet and those new smart TVs.
KBode 12/4/2015 | 4:18:08 PM
Re: Getting crowded... I haven't quite understood the benefits of Red yet, though I admit I'm well outside of the PewDiePie target demographic of a lot of the shows. I forget, are they offering access to Red and Google Music for the same $10 monthly fee?
danielcawrey 12/4/2015 | 3:55:55 PM
Re: Getting crowded... I like the idea of Red. I think many people don't want to pay for cable and broadcast network access anymore. 

A lot of the shows that are on cable aren't really that great, so this is where I think YouTube has an opportunity to really become a player in OTT. 
Kruz 12/4/2015 | 3:43:42 AM
Re: Fractured TV Youtube Red's offering just got more appealing with this addon. With its existing contnet running without interruption and the added premium content it is about to get, this seems like service that is worth paying for.. It will also depend on the content they are going to get license for.
inkstainedwretch 12/3/2015 | 4:41:07 PM
Fractured TV I find all this just bad. There's content I would like to have access to, but it keeps getting distributed among more and more subscription-based services. There are only so many subscriptions I am willing to afford. This means there will be more and more companies that should be getting my business but will not be. How is that going to be a successful business model? -- Brian Santo
KBode 12/3/2015 | 4:21:52 PM
Getting crowded... There's an awful lot of chefs now in this particular kitchen. Wonder how these companies plan to differentiate themselves with exclusive deals fracturing the landscape and everybody eyeballing rock bottom prices? Perhaps Google could finally pursue that NFL streaming deal they keep nibbling at according to rumors.
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