According to reports, YouTube is in discussions with media giants to include their movies and TV episodes in a hub of ad-supported channels. In fact, the company is already testing the idea. Later this year, the platform might expand the hub’s user base, according to The Wall Street Journal.
If YouTube goes ahead with the proposal, it would enter a market called Free Ad-Supported Streaming Television, or FAST. We have other players in the market, including Roku, Fox’s Tubi, and Pluto TV. They all are owned by Paramount Global. YouTube might end up attracting more users than any other service. However, it all will depend on the type of content it provides and how the proposed channels are configured.
YouTube acknowledged executing a test in which a small number of viewers can access ad-supported channels. A spokeswoman stated, “We’re always looking for new ways to provide viewers a central destination to more easily find, watch and share the content that matters most to them.”
For the trial, the service is believed to have partnered with companies like Lionsgate, A+E Networks, and FilmRise. These channels give media firms a means to monetize content that might otherwise go unused.
YouTube currently also has movies with ads. However, the new hub may provide users a wider selection of free movies and television shows. The channels might function in a manner akin to Pluto TV. On that platform, there are channels for reality shows, live news, sports, and reruns of certain shows like CSI, Doctor Who, South Park, and Frasier.
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YouTube also secured a seven-year multi-billion dollar deal
The rumored foray into FAST is in line with YouTube’s ambition to diversify its offering of video content beyond what is often associated with the platform. It moved premium streaming channels from YouTube TV to its main app in November. What’s more, in a multi-billion dollar agreement that is rumored to last for seven years, YouTube has secured exclusive rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket package.
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