YouTube to Add TV Live Channels

Posted by at 11:36 am on October 16, 2011

Google’s YouTube alternative to TV was given substantiating details in a possible scoop Friday. The professionally-made content would include about 24 channels, Hollywood Reporter claimed to have confirmed, and would focus on “TV-style” entertainment and news. A launch could come as soon as within a month.

The cash invested into securing deals might also be going up. Earlier rumors had Google paying $100 million, but newer tips had it spending as much as $150 million.

An expansion of YouTube to include buying individual TV episodes or watching them ad-sponsored was coming, but it was considered separate from the live channels, the contacts involved said.

The channels are thought not just to be a way of getting more professional, ad-friendly content on YouTube but to be a vital ingredient for Google TV​ and other Android platforms. Google TV launched last year under the hope that studios would welcome the mix of the web and TV, but most took a hostile approach: within a few months, most majors blocked Google TV from their video sites, rendering it useless for mainstream TV online outside of a handful of pre-selected apps. Having two dozen live YouTube channels could be an end run that gives Google TV owners a reason to use the Internet half without feeling pushed into amateur content.

On mobile, YouTube live channels would provide a rare live TV service that doesn’t require either paid access or cellphone service from just one provider.

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