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YouTube starts testing a hub for unpaid TV channels

With this newest endeavour, YouTube may start focusing more on the television aspect of streaming.

YouTube has begun negotiations with media studios in an effort to showcase their films and television programmes in a forthcoming centralised free channel hub. The Journal reports that information from individuals familiar with the matter suggests YouTube may try to introduce this new centre later in 2023.

According to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence, there are already more than 20 free, ad-supported platforms available. The Roku Channel is already familiar to many people because to the popularity of Roku players and other streaming services like Tubi and Pluto TV. Data shows that the free channel market was worth $4 billion in 2022, and industry experts predict that figure may climb to $9 billion by 2026, demonstrating the widespread interest from viewers (and platforms) in this space.

According to reports, YouTube has been discussing taking a 45% part of money made by this new streaming hub as it shows signs of wanting to join. Like YouTube’s arrangement with its own video makers, this would result in the content suppliers receiving 55% of the total income.

Those in the know also say that YouTube has collaborated with A&E Networks, Lions Gate Entertainment, Cinedigm Corp, and FilmRise to launch this free channel hub.

Even if YouTube only made $7 billion from adverts in the third quarter of 2022, the company is likely to explore new avenues that might provide something of value to users at no cost while simultaneously delivering commercials.

As of last November, U.S. YouTube users may access the Primetime Channels. This centralised the customer experience, allowing them to access services like SHOWTIME, STARZ, and Paramount+ and manage their many subscriptions in a single location. The platform then announced in December an exclusive deal to provide NFL Sunday Ticket beginning with the 2023 NFL season.

With so many competing interests for customers’ time and money, this free channels centre may come as a welcome relief.