Channel Stores Are Officially the Newest Thing in Streaming

YouTube is building a system that will allow users to subscribe to streaming services through the YouTube app, wall street journal Reportedly, and could launch the so-called “Channel Store” as of this fall. magazineThe U.S. report did not specify which services might be part of the store, only that YouTube is in talks with various entertainment companies.

A channel store makes perfect sense for YouTube, and it’s been a long time in the making: Information A similar plan was reported in early 2020. Recently, the company has been hinting that this is coming: “I think the content is delivered in bundles, or where over time we figure out other ways to distribute it, I think YouTube.” can be a great partner out there,” YouTube VP of Product Management Christian Ostalian recently pointed out. ledge, “We have never seen the world as these binary options between us and partner services… we think we can all coexist in a really healthy way.”

This is probably the most popular idea in the streaming business now. Tech companies, especially those who have tried to create their own original content and seen how hard (and expensive!) to do so, for example, you already have an account with Verizon or AT&T, and a bill that You pay them every month, so your carrier can present itself as a valuable marketing partner and infrastructure provider for subscriptions. It’s a lot like the old cable bundle, just… Internet-ified. And the upside for app store providers and game stores is the same: a small cut of everything you buy.

Apple, Amazon and many others all make the case, and are often very impressive. HBO Max gets 4.5 million subscribers through Amazon channels, magazine Reportedly, and briefly bailed on that partnership, but is now reportedly planning to return. Walmart is also reportedly thinking of getting in on the game.

However, YouTube may have the strongest case of any channel store partner. It has a huge audience, more than two billion people a month, many of whom already have an account and a credit card saved on YouTube. They already have the app downloaded, maybe they’re already watching Peacock or HBO one clip at a time – getting them a subscription to the service is an easy upsell. (YouTube also has the best video player and app on the market, which doesn’t hurt its case for users.)

You can already subscribe to some streaming services on YouTube TV, but not yet in the main app.
Image: YouTube TV

YouTube also has some of this platform built in already. YouTube TV is already somewhat of a channel store; You can subscribe to HBO Max, Starz, Showtime, and other channels and services directly from within the YouTube TV interface. You can also buy and rent movies directly on YouTube and watch some things for free. Recently, the code in the Google TV app states that 50 free TV channels are coming to the platform.

To some extent, it also feels like a final acknowledgment that YouTube can’t compete with the Netflix and HBO of the worlds. The company has long looked for ways to create and offer more premium content, including some unfortunate attempts to create TV-style original content. (RIP, YouTube Original.) YouTube is already the go-to place for clips and highlights from TV shows and movies, but there haven’t been great ways to integrate premium Hollywood content onto the platform.

For this to work, YouTube must convince streaming services that it is not a long-term threat to their business; YouTube’s relationship with Hollywood has improved over the years, but many entertainment companies still see it as both a partner and a necessary evil. Even though Apple and Amazon have competing services, they don’t represent the existential, paradigm-shifting threat to the TV and movie industry that YouTube does. How Peacock of the World and Paramount Plus Will Weigh the Value of YouTube’s Huge Audience The competitive attractiveness of its content will go a long way toward deciding whether or not a YouTube channel store can be.

Everyone wants to be the Channel Store going forward — it’s the App Store model again, and there’s a lot of money at stake. But if YouTube can pull it off, it can be much more than that. A YouTube app with all your streaming shows and movies, everything to buy and rent, plus all the producers you love and the search engine that helms it all? It will be the most powerful app in entertainment, and it won’t even come close.

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