YouTube Allegedly in Plans to Offer Skinny Bundles for its Forthcoming ‘Unplugged’ Paid Subscription Service

According to Finacialpost.com, YouTube is working to secure the rights for content from companies like Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal, Viacom Inc., Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. and CBS Corp., in order to launch a paid subscription TV service called Unplugged as early as 2017.

Last fall, YouTube launched its first paid subscription service, Red. Unplugged would increase the site’s non-advertising revenue while bringing more premium content to viewers.

635848517290573669-youtube-red-logoWhile details of how Canadians would have access to channel bundles offered by YouTube remains unclear, talks are underway in the U.S on what to include in them.

YouTube has not yet released an official statement on the issue but the Financialpost.com reports that sources indicate YouTube is looking at various bundling options. Skinny bundles could include channels from the four U.S. broadcast networks and a variety of popular cable channels.

The hurdle at the moment seems to be pricing. Sources say that YouTube wants to sell a package for less than US$35 a month, but that large media companies require new TV providers to pay more per channel than existing partners, Comcast and AT&T Inc.

One thing is for sure. The Financial Post states that executives at Disney have been wary of skinny bundles in the past, and have demanded caps on the number of subscribers any online service could have.

Since that time, Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger has now said that it is important for its ESPN sports channel to be in these packages no matter the number of customers.

YouTube has not offered an official comment but has stated:

“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,” Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive officer, wrote in a letter to Alphabet shareholders last week. “We’ve started down this journey with specialized apps like YouTube Kids, as well as through our YouTube Red subscription service.”

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