Android TV is a platform which can offer users a variety of features that might not necessarily be accessible from a traditional TV set. However, in spite of its seemingly endless possibilities, above all, Android TV is a TV-focused device. More specifically, one which is designed to make it easier to access video-based content from one centralized dashboard. In fact, in many circles Android TV is seen as one of the clear routes to becoming a true ‘cord-cutter’. And if the recent rumors of this week are true, the ability to cut the cord and become even more cable-independent (or Android TV-dependent - depending on which way you look at it), will become easier.
It is clear that devices like those which run on Android TV are causing traditional providers to review the services they offer and how they offer them and this week, not one, but two reports gained massive traction and ones which are likely to be of significant importance to Android TV. The first was a report on Hulu and one which looked to confirm that the subscription-service is looking to introduce its own cable-style TV service. The details were light but the gist of the report was that Hulu is planning to offer a service which “would stream feeds of popular broadcast and cable TV channels.” According to the details, Hulu are close to reaching agreements with the associated channels and the service could arrive as early as the first quarter of 2017.
Interestingly, the second report run almost along the exact same lines as Hulu with the notable exception that it is a service being put together by YouTube. This is a service which is currently being referred to as 'YouTube Unplugged' and according to the details, will “offer customers a bundle of cable TV channels”. Again, the details suggest that YouTube has been working on this since 2012, is already deep in talks with the various network and channel providers, it is one of their “biggest priorities” and is also likely to become available in the early part of 2017.
So while both of these services are set for next year, it is clear that with both Hulu and YouTube having a significant presence on Android TV, these are services which will be prime for the platform. In fact, they are arguably, services which are purpose-designed for Android TV and it would be expected that if and when either of these services do launch, they will be available through their respective Android TV apps at launch. So while Android TV development is sometimes thought of as a slow process with a trickling of apps and services becoming available, reports on projects like these do highlight that companies are not only committed to Android TV, but sometimes the big game-changing features take time to become a reality.