YouTube has been the de facto home of video content on the internet for 15 years. Now, that monopoly is growing.
The Google-owned video site announced Tuesday that it would start rolling out Primetime Channels, a feature that turns YouTube into a hub for subscription streaming services. An “early version” launched in the U.S. along with the announcement. YouTube says you can go to the Movies & TV hub on the site to find 30 or so services you can subscribe to, though, at the time of writing, that wasn’t working for me.
To start, YouTube isn’t including the real heavy hitters like Netflix and HBO Max. The biggest name on the list right now is probably Paramount+, with AMC+, Showtime, Starz, and Shudder rounding out some of the other notable names. YouTube also said NBA League Pass (which you can use to watch any out-of-market NBA game) is coming soon.
For clarity’s sake, this is not the same as YouTube TV. That’s a $65/mo subscription service that lets you watch live TV. It’s also not the same as the movie rentals that have been available on YouTube for years.
Anyway, YouTube has promised to YouTube-ify these channels, even going so far as to add Primetime Channels recommendations to your personal algorithm. One of the big selling points here is that you can watch a movie trailer on YouTube like you normally would, and then just watch the movie on the same site. How novel.