Google’s YouTube TV is adding two streaming Cheddar channels – Cheddar, the company’s original tech-and-business news channel and Cheddar Big News, Cheddar’s brand new news channel with general interest stories – to its live 50-channel broadcast, cable and regional TV subscription service, reports Variety.
These additions join Newsy as YouTube’s first digital-only channels for the streaming TV service, which launched in April 2017. Digiday says that Tastemade and The Young Turks Network will also be joining YouTube TV soon, but YouTube has not said when these channels will be added. In addition to live feeds from Cheddar and Cheddar Big News, on-demand content will also be available on YouTube TV. According to TubeFilter, YouTube TV would not carriage fees to Cheddar. Instead, YouTube would sell ad inventory on the channels and split the revenue with publishers.
‘YouTube TV is world class in its user experience,’ said Jon Steinberg, Founder and CEO of Cheddar, in the announcement. ‘I am ecstatic that YouTube TV has added Cheddar to its base bundle lineup, and YouTube TV is the first partner to launch Cheddar Big News!’
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Christian Oestlien, director of product for YouTube TV, also commented on the partnership.
‘Cheddar’s emphasis on tech and media news coverage make it a strong fit for the millennial, tech-savvy audience that also loves YouTube TV,’ said Oestlien. ‘From Closing Bell reports live from the floor of the NYSE stock exchange on Cheddar to headline news on Cheddar Big News, Cheddar will bring new and insightful news content to YouTube TV.’
The day after this announcement was made, Cheddar also announced it would launch its main channel on Hulu’s Live TV skinny bundle later this month. Also, Cheddar will offer exclusive morning and afternoon news briefs and key highlights and select Cheddar Originals to Hulu’s original on-demand service.
‘Both Hulu and Cheddar are reinventing TV. We are thrilled to partner with Hulu and to bring our news to its 17 million subscribers,’ said Steinberg. ‘It’s amazing that anyone planning to watch season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale, catching up on Atlanta, watching some Rick and Morty, or enjoying the NBA playoffs can tune to Cheddar for tech and business news, live or on demand, and on any Hulu-supported devices.’
Hulu’s original on-demand streaming TV service offers more than 75,000 episodes of TV shows, Hulu Originals and select movies. Hulu Live TV, which launched in May 2017, offers more than 50 news, sports and entertainment channels for $39.99 a month. Hulu offers both ad-supported and commercial-free streaming TV and has more than 17 million subscribers in the U.S. According to a CNBC report from January, Hulu Live had about 450,000 paying subscribers and YouTube TV has over 300,000.
‘Our live TV viewers watched more than 24 million hours of news in the first quarter of 2018, so clearly they are hungry for news content,’ said Tim Connolly, senior vice president and head of partnerships and distribution at Hulu. ‘We’re happy to partner with a post-cable millennial-focused network like Cheddar to pack even more value into our live offering and give our younger viewers access to a greater, more diverse selection of live news options.’
Streaming TV – including live and on-demand – continues to evolve beyond the Netflix model. While Netflix continues its ad-free, on-demand model, new services like YouTube TV, Hulu Live TV, Sling TV and DirecTV Now are working to differentiate themselves in the heated race for subscribers.
Many of those offering live ‘skinny’ bundles offer 50 or more broadcast and cable networks with premium add-ons like HBO and Showtime. They are setting themselves apart with original programming and now competing with newer, digital-native programming. As the model evolves to meet viewer demand, it will be interesting to watch other ways streaming and live subscription services woo subscribers.