YouTube is planning its own cable killer.
The video streaming site is working on a subscription service called “Unplugged” that would offer customers a bundle of TV channels that they could stream live online, sources familiar with the plan told Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw and Alistair Barr.
YouTube has reportedly approached major media companies like CBS and Viacom, but no deals have been made yet.
This “skinny” bundle approach to cable has become more attractive to networks as people increasingly choose to “cut the cord” in favour of streaming services like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video where they can dole out a less money for more specific content (versus the TV model where they pay a high sum to get a lot of content they might never want to watch). So, while skinny bundles are killing cable, they’re also saving it too, providing networks can negotiate the right price for streaming rights for their most popular channels.
CBS CEO Les Moonves said at Business Insider’s conference in December that he had been working on making a deal with Apple, but that those efforts had been put on pause.
But he was confident that the time for this kind of service has come:
“This will happen,” he said. “People will not be spending money on channels they don’t want to watch.”
YouTube is reportedly aiming to charge under $35 a month for its package.
This service would run in tandem with YouTube’s other subscription offering, Red. YouTube charges $9.99 a month to let people get rid of all ads and watch a selection of original shows and movies featuring some of the platform’s biggest stars.
The company has reportedly been planning a cable alternative since 2012, but is ramping up plans in hopes of a 2017 launch.
YouTube declined to comment.
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