Over the last few months YouTube has been going through a number of changes. However, there has been one rumor developing recently which could prove to be quite a game changer. This is the rumor that Google and YouTube is preparing to launch a TV service dubbed YouTube Unplugged. Following the initial reports, more details started to come through with other reports suggesting that multiple content providers including the likes of ABC, ESPN & CBS were all in talks to sign up to the service.
Now, a new report out of the Wall Street Journal is once again confirming that CBS has indeed signed up to the service. According to the report (who in turn credits “people familiar with the matter”), Google and CBS have now “reached an agreement” to allow Unplugged to include CBS content when it does eventually launch. Speaking of which, while the report does not provide firm details on when a launch is likely to happen, it does specifically state that Unplugged is likely to become available in 'early 2017'. In addition to confirming CBS’s involvement, the report does point out that Google is close to finalizing other deals with other content providers including 21st Century Fox and Walt Disney Co. Although, again besides the fact that Google is in advanced talks with 21st Century Fox and Disney, no further details were provided.
In accordance with previous reports, the latest information looks to confirm that Unplugged will be a completely different entity to the likes of YouTube Red (which offers ad-free viewing of YouTube content). Although, the report does make note that some YouTube Red content will be available to Unplugged subscribers and in particular will form part of a 'skinny bundle' along with other live TV content - which will be aimed at those looking for a low-cost subscription option. One which the report details will likely cost in the region of $25 to $40 per month. Which, as most cable subscribers will know - is considerably more affordable than what is often currently on offer. Although and as to be expected, with the reference of a 'skinny bundle' being available, it does stand to reason that higher-priced packages will also be available for those looking for a richer service and who are willing to pay a higher cost.