It was a busy few months for Google’s YouTube TV, as the new streaming over-the-top television service was successfully rolled out into several new markets.
The rollouts started back in April, when YouTube TV was initially released into just five markets. In July, 10 more were added. And in August YouTube TV had two more major rollouts, bringing the total number up to 41. The most recent rollout brought the service to Hartford, Harrisburg, Greensboro, Denver, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, San Diego, Salt Lake City and St. Louis.
As CED explains, YouTube TV offers both local affiliate channels to customers for most markets. Each household is allowed six accounts, and the service also comes with DVR storage.
In August, YouTube TV actually expanded its local channel offerings following a new partnership with Sinclair Broadcast Group. With the partnership, YouTube TV can now offer all of Sinclair’s CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox affiliates.
End users, it should be noted, do need to use either a Chromecast dongle, a Chromecast-enabled Android TV or an Apple TV to use the service. Some may see this as inconvenient, but YouTube TV makes up for this by integrating with about 20 different TV Everywhere apps. So users can log in and access content even on unsupported devices.
All in all, YouTube TV is getting mainly positive review aside from some users experiencing bugginess. Its biggest drawback right now is its hefty price tag of $35 per month which, though less than most bulky cable packages, is still relatively steep for an OTT streaming service. Let’s not forget that Sling, for instance, offers streaming services that start at just $20 per month. Granted, YouTube TV does offer more channels at nearly 50.
So, should you worry about YouTube TV as a major competitor? Our advice is to look at this service as being no different than any other OTT network. Instead, look at the bright side: Users who switch over to YouTube TV and cut their cord will still be using broadband Internet. So there is still money to be made.