YouTube picks Playa Vista to announce a game-changing streaming service

By Christina Campodonico

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki and YouTube Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl (above) unveil YouTube TV at YouTube Space LA in Playa Vista
Photos by Maria Martin

YouTube sent ripples through the media industry on Tuesday when the company announced the upcoming arrival of YouTube TV, a live and on-demand streaming TV subscription service that’s poised to shake up how the world watches television.

The Google-owned tech company chose Playa Vista for the announcement, holding a press conference at YouTube Space LA.

“This Playa Vista space is the perfect setting to reveal it,” said YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, citing the space’s mission to make video production more accessible to YouTube video creators. “We built this space because we believe in removing barriers to storytelling, and with YouTube TV we’re doing just that for a younger generation.”

Aiming to appeal to cord-cutting millennials who want to watch TV when, where and how they want, YouTube TV will stream more than 40 television networks on demand through desktops, mobile devices and Chromecast-enabled TVs.

The subscription service is set to launch sometime in the next few months and includes up to six accounts per household for $35 monthly fee. Service includes the four major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC) and a number of cable, sports and news channels, such as USA, FX, ESPN, Disney Channel, MSNBC and Spanish-language channel Telemundo.

Through YouTube TV’s app, subscribers can record programs or watch live TV from any of YouTube TV’s partners, “cast” programs from a mobile device to a TV screen, search for new shows, and access YouTube Red’s original programming as well as YouTube’s vast catalogue of online videos. Other features include unlimited DVR storage in the cloud, in-app customer support and personalized programming recommendations.

Executives also suggested that local broadcast TV channels would be available based on users’ geographical location, but did not name specific channels or markets.

“We want to get as much of the country covered as possible,” said Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s Chief Business Officer.

For now, YouTube is focused on rolling out YouTube TV only in the U.S., but Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan is excited to see how the new service emerges into the video on-demand ecosystem.

“We really do believe this is the future of media consumption,” he said. “That’s the journey I think we’re starting on today. Our long-term vision is to really reimagine how TV is watched.”