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May 5, 2016updated 05 Sep 2016 11:49am

Could YouTube replace your TV? Online TV streaming service billed for 2017 launch

News: YouTube has plans to increase its revenue share from ads to subscriptions.

By CBR Staff Writer

Google owned YouTube is reportedly looking to start a subscription based TV service called ‘Unplugged’ in 2017.

According to reports in Bloomberg, it could offer viewers a bundle of cable TV channels that are streamed over the internet.

Sources told the news agency that YouTube has upgraded its technical infrastructure to start streaming TV channels, with the company now regarding a launch of such a service as one of its biggest priorities.

YouTube executives are reportedly in discussions with various media-houses for content including NBCUniversal, Viacom, Twenty-First Century Fox and CBS, but there has been no confirmation of securing any rights as of yet.

YouTube is trying to add subscription-based video content to its already established ad-based video content business.

Last year YouTube introduced Red, a subscription-based service which would remove any ads which are otherwise placed in the videos.

The new service will add more premium content to its web and app based offerings.

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It wants to increase its revenue directly through the introduction of subscription-based content rather than depending upon ad-based revenue.

If everything goes according to plan, the new service, ‘Unplugged’ would stream live premium video content from several media houses.

Although YouTube has had plans to introduce live and streaming content in the past, now the company reportedly wants to pursue it harder. It also has potential competition from Apple and Amazon which are both trying to introduce their own versions of live internet TV.

Other companies such as Dish Network and Sony have already started their own internet TV services.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in a letter to Alphabet shareholders last week saying, "We aim to provide more choice to YouTube fans — more ways for them to engage with creators and each other, and more ways for them to get great content.

"We’ve started down this journey with specialis ed apps like YouTube Kids, as well as through our YouTube Red subscription service."

According to sources, YouTube has plans to roll out the ‘Unplugged’ services with monthly subscriptions below $35.

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