back to article YouTube TV will be huge. Apple must respond

When the world’s largest online silo of video content decides to come out and launch its own TV subscription service, including sought after live sports content, it’s not just the traditional pay TV industry which should be concerned, but the streaming giants too. YouTube TV is here and Apple has to return fire. YouTube’s much …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple has to do precisely nothing

    and that will hasten its demise into obscurity....

    Well that's what a lot of people would hope for anyway.

    Will they do anything? It looks like they are trying but the content producers don't want to play ball when there is already a plethora of services for their wares.

    IMHO, Apple should just buy Netflix and be done with it. The bought Beats didn't they?

    As for YouTube TV...? I give it 2 years before google does what it seems to do reqularly and that is close it down.

    1. Halfmad

      Re: Apple has to do precisely nothing

      Honestly I think this is different, it depends on the content they offer clearly but there is a market for it, I just think they may be a little late if they are looking to compete with Netflix and Amazon Prime.

      I suspect Apple are just going to buy up a large company that currently dominates in another area and expand their portfolio, potentially something like Netflix.

    2. djstardust Silver badge

      Re: Apple has to do precisely nothing

      Apple are not innovators any more. I fondly remember my first ipod touch, it was a work of art. As was the iphone 3g and my 2009 Mac Pro.

      Now Apple gear is the same cheap trash made in Chinese factories with a massive margin. They do not stand out any more. Their current laptops are horifically expensive and mid spec at best.

      They are too late to the party and that's it. Sitting on huge piles of case won't be enough to save them once the Starbucks luvvies and bearded hipsters move on to the next fad.

    3. JLV Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Apple has to do precisely nothing

      >Apple should just buy Netflix

      Shhhh. I don't want $66.6 / month Netflix any more than you presumably do. Only watchable on TVs connected with special Ives-y designed 2D rainbow unicorn cables.

      Apple can make pretty good gear when they put their minds to it, but their latest laptops are overpriced and under-specced, so they have plenty of other cats to skin before responding to the clickbait in _this_ advertorial.

    4. Mr.Bill

      Re: Apple has to do precisely nothing

      has Google closed supposedly walking dead google+, google talk hangouts, youtube itself, youtube red, play music, youtube music, allo, duo, gmail, inbox, play movies, books. Sure you can point to some things it shut down too, like, Spaces? Not exactly something on this scale. What else has closed in the last few years. Wave? - quite a while ago.

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: Apple has to do precisely nothing

        The old Google graveyard

        "What else has closed in the last few years. Wave?"

        Killed in 2016

      2. lakawak

        Re: Apple has to do precisely nothing

        They pretty much closed Google Glass and have indefinitely suspended Google Fiber. And have severely cut back on the forced integration of Google+ is a clear admission that it is a failure.

  2. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Fairly wild speculation

    For example, but converting just a fraction of its 1 billion viewers . If this is a US-only rollout then the international audience size is irrelevant. The rest of the article is full, as is Faultline's wont, of similar misleading claims.

    1. Calleb III

      Re: Fairly wild speculation

      Like this one: "YouTube may want to write an App for Apple devices, but then it would have to give away 30 per cent of its revenue to Apple."

      app makers might have to give up % of their in-app sales to apple, but I doubt it counts subscription costs.

      Somehow i don't believe Spotify, Netflix, Amazon prime/music etc. are giving up 30% of their sub to Apple, just because they have iOS app...

  3. Ragarath

    AI Really?

    It will also include its own Google AI-powered recommendation engine

    Hands up who thinks this is real machine learning/AI?

    Now hands up who thinks this is an algorithm? Thought so.

    1. Dr Scrum Master

      Re: AI Really?

      Is this the same recommendation engine that recommends that I watch videos I've already watched, or if I've watched something from one loony conspiracy theorist then it fills up my list of recommendations with other loony conspiracy theorists?

      1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

        Re: AI Really?

        Is this the same recommendation engine that recommends that I watch videos I've already watched

        Or more recently, seems to think that when I fancy watching something in a specific genre, I suddenly want to leap off and watch something about Trump or Obama.

      2. Paul Kinsler

        Re: Is this the same recommendation engine that recommends ...

        It's like a conspiracy, I tell you.

      3. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: AI Really?

        "if I've watched something from one loony conspiracy theorist then it fills up my list of recommendations with other loony conspiracy theorists?"

        So you are one of those discerning loony conspiracy theorists?

  4. Oengus Silver badge

    D'oh!

    includes unlimited cloud DVR storage with no fixed term contract, allowing subscribers to cancel at any time.

    I am betting that when you end your subscription your cloud DVR storage evaporates as well.

    Of course you can have unlimited cloud DVR storage... They are not going to keep a separate copy of each "title" for each subscriber. They will have one master copy (and numerous mirrors) and your DVR just indexes the content you recorded...

    1. Lamont Cranston

      Re: D'oh!

      Do people still want DVRs? Packaged mine up and sent it to the loft, recently, as Amazon/Netflix/iPlayer have rendered it unnecessary.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice advert you have there.

    $35PCM for a pile of shite, no thanks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nice advert you have there.

      Another $35/month to add to the

      Cable/Broadband subscription

      The Mobile subs

      the Gas

      the leccy

      the rates

      Nextflix

      Spotify non free

      Gym

      Car Insurance

      Car Tax

      and a load of others.

      There is a limit to how many monthly subs people can bear. $35/month is a hefty one on top of Sky/VM and the latest Galaxy phone from EE.

      Even the number of "only $10/£10 per month' subs must be hitting a limit with many people.

      Yours E Scrooge.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Nice advert you have there.

        "There is a limit to how many monthly subs people can bear. $35/month is a hefty one on top of Sky/VM and the latest Galaxy phone from EE."

        Except if you "cut the cord" and only use the cable company for broadband, you can come out ahead since your average cable TV subscription starts around $50/month and can usually go as high as $100/month+ once you factor in boxes (which you can't buy outright or transfer between services, remember, especially since they're now all-digital so your TV can't do it) and channels which are intentionally split into different packages.

        1. lakawak

          Re: Nice advert you have there.

          Except that if you cut the cord and only get broadband, that will go up AT LEAST $10 over the bundle price, meaning that $50 your talk about for a starting price is just $5 more...for A LOT more channels. And there are some HUGE omissions from their list of channels that will be dealbreakers for most. A lot of the channels included are ones that have very low viewership. OR ones that a specialty channels. And then there is the common "We have ESPN so you won't miss out on your sports" which is just plain stupid. Most sports fans watch at least 90% of heir sports on REGIONAL SPORTS CHANNELS, like MSG Network in NY. Most sports fans are fans of TEAMS. Usually local teams. Aside from major events like Superbowls or NCAA Championship gamers, they don't just watch random games between two teams that they don't care about. And that is what ESPN gives for 8 months out of the year. And why talk about how it goes up to $100 or more when those are only if you add to additional channels that you don't even have AVAILABLE with YouTube TV.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Nice advert you have there.

            It still may be worth it to plenty. I know plenty of people who aren't team-loyal but simply watch what's available. I'm one of them, and what I want from sports is a close contest; it doesn't matter who's playing. As for the other channels, people may be able to live without the likes of Animal Planet, and while the unbundled Internet price goes up another $10, that's more than offset by the fact that $50/month is the bare minimum price for just local channels and a few essentials like CNN. The usual cable TV bill is closer to the $100 range as I've said, especially now that cable TV's all digital which means cable-ready TVs really aren't anymore, meaning box rentals of nearly $10/month per TV (and most households have at least two because the spouse doesn't want to be held hostage over channel choice). Then there's the additional $10/month charge if you want to record shows (more if you want more at a time), taxes, extra fees, etc. Trust me, I took a long and hard look at all those associated fees just last month because I was restructuring my subscription in a bid to save money. Jumping wasn't practical because the two other providers in my neighborhood have basically settled into a cartel with the first, and their overall rates aren't different enough. In my particular case I wouldn't want YouTube TV because I like to personally record my shows (at least by sticking I have access to an unencrypted HD stream I can run to a PVR box), but not everyone's in the same boat.

            1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

              Re: Nice advert you have there.

              Out of curiosity.

              Why is CNN an essential, when you can read the exact same news on a number of free web sites?

      2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Nice advert you have there.

        You still have Spotify?

        I found them too weird and switched to Apple.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Once you have accustomed people to watch things for free...

    ... you'll have an hard time to make them pay. Youtube subscription was a failure? What a surprise. Google guys and gals want stuff "for free". Nor some sport will save them - usually you spend far more than what you get back. Here Sky is trying to sell me over and over its football (in the European meaning) channel - it looks people willingly *to pay* to watch football are far less then they thought. Shouldn't the NFL save Twitter as well?

    1. alain williams Silver badge

      Re: Once you have accustomed people to watch things for free...

      Watching Youtube was never for free. Granted you did not fork out cash but you paid by watching adverts and helping google build its profile of you (what you like to watch) so as to better push adverts at you.

      Free is one of the most abused words on the Internet.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Once you have accustomed people to watch things for free...

        Yep, and TV too. 'Movies are free on ITV' used to be a tagline that they often used. Nope, they were never free and still are not. It's just that everyone pays when they buy their Colgate, Just For Men, TenaLady etc.

        1. lakawak

          Re: Once you have accustomed people to watch things for free...

          Sorry, nicky..but that is just ignorant. No...your products do not cost more because of advertising. Advertising brings in customers.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Once you have accustomed people to watch things for free...

            What if it turns people off instead? I for one don't like being pushed. The best products sell themselves, after all.

      2. Mr.Bill

        Re: Once you have accustomed people to watch things for free...

        its pretty well understood by now anything on the internet you don't explicitly pay for is ad-supported and that the internet would not exist without ads. I don't think we need to explain the use of "free" every time its used in this context and warn everyone.

  7. Nifty

    Making an Apple TV box that's in any way attractive would be a start.

    People expect their mobiles and tablets to be pretty flexible but the Roku, with real kick-back remote and earphone socket in that remote, leaves Apple TV struggling in the dust by comparison.

    So an Apple TV won't make it into our house and Apple sub TV is therefore unlikely to follow.

    1. Ian Watkinson

      Agreed, had an apple TV..didn't use it..used the Mede8er, then Dlink, then roku and now amazon.

      Why do I need to go back to apple?

      Also interesting comparing them with traditional TV, but I suspect that as I can get an Amazon video and Netflix for 1/2 the amount of you tube tv, they are going to have to have a lot of very good original content on it.

  8. EddieD

    Saturation

    I wonder how many hours of broadcasting are transmitted every hour of the day.

  9. himoverthere

    UK based so not affecting us yet but....

    Will be interesting to see how Youtube TV works out with getting sports rights. They have the financial clout to get the Premier League / Champions League in a few years time when they come up for renewal, and that could give them the impetus to grow in the UK at least.

    1. Tim99 Silver badge

      Re: UK based so not affecting us yet but....

      I suspect that the major sports organizations will eventually realize that they have what everyone is scrambling for: "Content". Do they really need to tie up with a third party when they can stream it themselves? Would you pay a smallish weekly subscription directly to the League?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: UK based so not affecting us yet but....

        Or, the individual teams themselves. A season ticket to actually watch football in a stadium is available for the individual team you support. Why should people not buy a streaming season ticket for an individual team? It would probs further concentrate the money towards the top teams of course, but isn't it a logical extension?

        1. strum Silver badge

          Re: UK based so not affecting us yet but....

          >Or, the individual teams themselves.

          Fine for hardened fans - but some of us aren't wedded to any one club - we want to see a title race/relegation fight unfold, regardless of the participants.

          And most hardened fans also have a second or third fave.

      2. terry doyle

        Direct sport subscriptions

        I like the direct subscription model. It makes the content provider really try to provide good coverage and info and build a real experience around it.

        MotoGP already do direct subscriptions. I really like being able to watch the races live or later... my choice.

        If only F1 would do the same. I am not the least bit interested in football/rugby/etc so there is no way I am paying Sky/whoever for a "Sports package" that has 95% stuff I don't want to see.

      3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: UK based so not affecting us yet but....

        You mean like ManU TV and the rest?

        I won't pay to watch any sport unless it is for a ticket to the match[1]. I get plenty of entertainment at my local Rugby Club for free and there is a bar that sells decent ale at good prices to prop up afterwards.

        As the old slogan said, 'Keep Music Live' but could easily be 'Keep Sport Live'.

        [1]This is especially true if any Murdoch company is involved.

  10. Calleb III

    I think that in this case Apple heavy handedness screwed them over, not the lack of trying to get into the game. If the rumors were correct the Apple TV service was largely derailed by content providers refusing to sign up to the deal, because of the massive % Apple wanted to keep for themselves.

    Guess in this case Google decided to lowball them and offer the service at cost/with low margin, relying on the ad revenue to cover for it.

    That being said i highly doubt Apple will be able to respond in any meaningful way to this step by Google

  11. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Devil

    Monopoly abuse potential...

    Odds on Google forcing this down people's throats as they did with the Chrome browser, and are now trying to do with the Pixel phone?

    How long after this launches before any search related to a TV show, sport event or suchlike will prompt and great big link at the top of the results list along the lines of "Upgrade your viewing experience!", pointing directly at the Google TV sign-up page?

    1. Mr.Bill

      Re: Monopoly abuse potential...

      Every company forces stuff down throats. I will say we are much better off having chrome as the "majority" browser, and a company like google behind it - with an interest in the best internet, than MS with IE.

      I hope its successful because if they just could get a few more channels on board, I'd be on it.

      1. lakawak

        Re: Monopoly abuse potential...

        Awww..cute..you still think Google is interested in ANYTHING but money. Give me a break..they are worth almost $600 BILLION...and over $500 billion of that is from gathering as much information as they possibly can about you (whether you are logged into their site or not) and selling it. They are the LEAST trustworthy company around.

      2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Monopoly abuse potential...

        "a company like google behind it - with an interest in the best internet"

        He he. Very amusing!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    YouTube TV will launch with a skinny bundle of 40 channels

    Can't be as skinny as Virgins pisspoor offerings in the UK.

    Will YouTube TV try and gouge subscribers for the HD versions of channels ?

  13. John Lilburne Silver badge

    Since when did Google ...

    ... have any licenses for this? Currently the FCC has told them to get stuffed that they can't just steal teh content and stick it on their own boxes.

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/01/26/congress_wants_fcc_to_snuff_out_googles_tv_landgrab/

    Basically this article seems to be just another instance of Google trying to co-opt tech journalist into its mission to steal the worlds content.

    Andrew Orlowski has plenty of articles here on the subject.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Since when did Google ...

      According to the article, this time they're paying for it and passing on the costs via the $35/month subscription. IOW, they're playing by the rules.

  14. A. Coatsworth

    So, where is the huge [1] benefit of this? They have the same tired old channels one can get anywhere, unlimited storage (yeah right! we all know what "unlimited" means for cloud providers), and...?

    No killer app at all... If I am already forking cash for Netflix or cable, or both, I see no reason to switch to them. Pretending that they'll be able to capitalize the vast number of freeloaders they have is disingenuous, the same article mentions Youtube Red as a failed example.

    This sound like yet another "brilliant" Google's idea that will be silently killed a few years down the line.

    [1] that damned adjective is tainted. I can't read it without hearing the Orange One screaming "YUUUUUUGE!" in my head

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Don't forget the google "feature" of them closing it down when they are bored with it.

      So you cut the cord or cancel satellite and then the service disappears when google decide there isn't enough advertising data to mine.

      Sure as shit not going to give these ADD children my money.

  15. CHEETOHJESUS

    YouTube TV is DOA

    Please.....no one is going to sign up for this........too many players in the market already. This will bomb like YoutubeRed. I still don't get what the point of Red is....

  16. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    "Even at a monthly fee of $35, YouTube TV’s profit will be minimal given the carriage costs of these major networks, but converting just a fraction of its 1 billion viewers to paying members will chip away at the market share of cable and satellite TV."

    Right now, this is not about profit; it's all about market share.

    We'll see.

  17. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Joke

    LOL

    "YouTube’s dominant position in online video is likely to make YouTube TV a huge success"

    Only if they include blip-verts. And that might present it's own problems.

  18. YARR
    Stop

    Nielsen data suggests the entirety of US TV has a daily viewership of around 1.25 billion hours

    1.25 beellion / 325 m USA-ians (not all of whom watch TV) = 3 hours 50 minutes daily!

    Does anyone believe they have so much free time to watch TV, plus engage in the other distractions / recreational activities + work + sleep ?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Um...yes, and then some. Don't forget things like dinner and bed can be done WITH the TV on.

  19. Tinman_au

    I might even sub to that if they include the US SyFy...

  20. lakawak

    Huge? Not unless they make MAJOR changes. Extremely overpriced, and a LOT of channels left out. And even ore overpriced when you consider you still have to pay for broadband internet and without bundling, that goes up at least $10

  21. Wayland Bronze badge

    Failure in the making

    Who needs another subscription cable provider of TV programming? The reason YouTube works is because it's On Demand. Programmes are so last century.

  22. Pirate Dave
    Pirate

    Nothing groundbreaking here

    $35 for 40 channels that may or may not show up grainy, depending on how large the latest X-Bone updates are that the kids are downloading on their consoles and eating all my bandwidth. Or, eh, stick to my dish and get relatively clear, not-continually-buffering video. Oh, I have kids, I'm not in Google's target demographic. Carry on.

    It is a shame Google didn't try something NEW here and offer what some of us have been screaming for for years - ala cart channel ordering. I guess Google just isn't that willing to buck the system. In the end, it's all about money, and Google seems to be taking the path of least resistance towards it.

  23. bigghands
    FAIL

    Comes with Google Play Music? Says who? Cite your factual source!

    Do you have any links to fact-based evidence to support your claim that Google Play Music were included? I am not finding anything that supports that blind assertion.

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: Comes with Google Play Music? Says who? Cite your factual source!

      Fact-based evidence?

      Is there another kind?

  24. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Too expensive.

    But that's perhaps because it's not full of stolen stuff, unlike YouTube.

    Fox will be great: now we can all be brain-dead.

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