YouTube is launching a new foray into the premium-streaming game.
The Google-owned video giant has announced the launch of Primetime Channels, a storefront full of 34 streaming services that any YouTube user can subscribe to. The lineup includes Paramount Global’s Paramount+ and Showtime, Lionsgate’s Starz, MGM’s Epix, AMC Networks’ AMC+ and TelevisaUnivision’s ViX+, among more than two dozen convenience-oriented channels. Users can subscribe through the YouTube Movies & TV interface. Initially, the channels were only available in the US.
Major streams not available from YouTube’s lineup of Prime Time channels include Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and HBO Max – a collection of third-party streaming services that Prime members can subscribe to, not included in Amazon’s Prime channels.
YouTube offers a few premium channels, such as Showtime and Starz, through its YouTube TV Internet pay-TV service. What sets it apart is that subscriptions to primetime channels are available to anyone – from the widely used core YouTube app. YouTube says it will add more services that you can buy directly from YouTube, including NBA League Pass. It plans to introduce new features and expand its services globally.
The pages of YouTube’s prime-time channels feature trailers for shows and movies, behind-the-scenes footage, and interviews. Titles from streaming services appear in YouTube search results, and YouTube recommendations include programming from primetime channels.
“We’re excited to expand our partnership with YouTube to give Paramount+ customers another way to stream the content they love,” said Jeff Schultz, Chief Strategy Officer and Business Development Officer, Paramount Streaming. “This new feature gives us the opportunity to expand our presence on YouTube, expand our reach and give users more choice to stream the best in entertainment.”
People already come to YouTube to watch highly anticipated movies or clips from episodes of their favorite TV shows, YouTube director of product management Erin Tighe said in a blog post promoting Primetime Channels. “You can continue watching now. [premium TV shows and movies] Live on YouTube,” she wrote. “And you continue to have choice and control over your ability to manage it all in one place.”
Here’s a list of streamers starting with YouTube’s Prime Time Channels: Showtime, Paramount+, Starz, AMC+, Epix, Shudder, Acorn TV, Here TV, CuriosityStream, Comedy Dynamics, Hallmark Movies Now, Allblk, Sundance Now, ConTV, Docurama, MovieSphere, Dove. Channel, IFC, ScreenPix, Fandor, Law & Crime, Screambox, Dekkoo, Tastemade+, Outside TV, Gaia, RCN Total, ATRESplayer, VSiN, Title, Magnolia Picks, The Great Courses, UP Faith & Family, and ViX+.