YouTube is reportedly making a move to take on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon in the streaming TV game. The video website is currently in talks with with studios for original shows it can stream, just like its competitors already do.
YouTube wants a bigger piece of the television market
YouTube's shows will be part of its YouTube Red subscription service—a US$9.99 a month subscription offering that will include YouTube-sponsored original content, and now presumably new shows from studios and production companies.
YouTube has former Netflix content executive Kelly Merryman and former MTV programming chief Susanne Daniels working on the negotiations, according to the Wall Street Journal. Their efforts could help extend YouTube's reach beyond short-form videos and place the company squarely in the ranks of Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu.
Moving into long-form original shows seems like a natural progression for YouTube considering the company is already the go-to place for shorter original shows from individuals and professional production studios. The site also offers Red subscribers access to Google's streaming music and video content, too.
That said, TMO's John Martellaro and Kelly Guimont made a case for why this isn't a smart move on our Daily Observations podcast.
YouTube is on track to launch its own self produced shows for Red subscribers in 2016 from popular video-ers such as PewDiePie and CollegeHumor. Adding in content from outside studios in the form of original series and movies would go a long way to making Red's $9.99 a month fee seem worthwhile.
YouTube hasn't confirmed the negotiations, and studios aren't talking publicly, either. Assuming the talks go well, we could be hearing about more YouTube original programming some time next year.