YouTube might start free ad-supported TV channels this year


YouTube is definitely the largest video sharing platform, and it has only grown enormously in recent years. Last year has been weird for YouTube that they were experimenting with weird ways to make some extra bucks from free users by locking and restricting 4K videos playback behind a paywall with Premium membership, and later YouTube has confirmed that they “fully turned off this experiment.”

Good news surfaced today about YouTube working on free ad-supported TV channels. To fuel its growth, YouTube has started testing free ad-supported TV channels streaming that show content from certain media companies, as per the latest report from The Wall Street Journal. YouTube is currently in talks with various companies such as Lionsgate and A&E, and channels like History, FYI, and Lifetime to bring TV shows, movies and whole TV channels to its platform.

An unnamed YouTube spokesperson confirmed the tests to the WSJ, and the report says YouTube is already trialing the service and select YouTube users are testing the waters. He also said we might see this service go live as soon as later this year.

YouTube is currently working on this concept by calculating viewers’ interest and if everything goes smoothly as per the plan, this service may ask for a 45% cut of the ad revenue. This concept is similar to services like Pluto TV, Roku’s Live TV channels, who have already making more profit from advertising and commissions on subscriptions than they do from selling hardware.

In the first quarter of 2022, YouTube has added free TV shows with ads, which enabled to stream nearly 4,000 episodes of TV for free with ads during the show. YouTube has also added free channels to its Google TV live tab via Pluto TV, giving access to more than 300 free channels from the platform’s primary live TV hub. Last month, YouTube and Google announced a new multi-year deal with the NFL Sunday Ticket, confirming the streaming possibility on both YouTube TV as an add-on package, as well as on YouTube’s Primetime Channels.

Source: WSJ

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