Go Unplugged: the full cable TV experience is about to hit YouTube

5 May 2016

YouTube has plans to be your television for once and for all. It plans to allow users to stream their cable TV channels to the web for a monthly fee

YouTube is understood to be preparing a new streamed online TV service that could enable users to cut the cord forever with traditional TV services.

YouTube is believed to be working on a new paid subscription service entitled Unplugged that will provide users with cable TV channels streamed to their YouTube page.

The new service is slated to arrive in 2017 and is understood to be one of the internet giant’s biggest priorities.

YouTube, which operates under the umbrella of Alphabet-owned Google, has held discussions with top media companies including NBCUniversal, Viacom, 21st Century Fox and CBS.

However, according to Bloomberg, it is not clear if YouTube has secured any rights yet.

Big stream vision

The move would mean that users will be able to access their TV programmes anywhere in the world on any connected device.

But it is already a crowded market when you consider the various apps belonging to TV companies like the BBC and Sky, not to mention platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Sling and Sony’s PlayStation Vue.

Where YouTube’s Unplugged could be a game-changer would be in terms of de-cluttering all of these options and allowing users to stream cable channels for a standard $35-a-month fee.

Serving cable TV through the medium of YouTube has been an ambition at Google since 2012 and YouTube has top executives Christian Oestlien and Jonathan Zepp on the case.

In the past year, YouTube has bolstered its range of subscription services like YouTube Red, as well as launching specialised apps like YouTube Kids and YouTube Gaming.

Retro TV image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years