YouTube Space Mumbai @ Whistling Woods International

YouTube is working on a new service called Unplugged which will stream cable TV packages for a fee, reports Bloomberg. According to the publication, citing sources, the service will go live in 2017.

YouTube has also apparently overhauled its technical architecture for the project and is in talks with major media companies including including Comcast, NBCUniversal, Viacom Inc, Twenty-First Century Fox and CBS. It added that it has yet to secure the rights for the same.

The move seems to be an effort to bolster the company’s ad revenues with more paid services. YouTube launched its original content on YouTube Red (a $10/month service) in February. Users from India (as well as 36 other countries) will be able to buy original series, shows and movies, while network TV shows can be purchased by users from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Japan, the UK and the US.

Google’s chief financial officer Ruth Porat in an earnings call said that other cost of revenues for Google was $3.6 billion, up 27% year-over-year. The primary costs were content acquisition costs for YouTube.

Competition

– Amazon Fire TV currently claims to have aggregated over 4,000 channels, apps, and games including over 250,000 TV episodes and movies from Netflix, Amazon Video, HBO GO, Hulu. Eros Now’s content will now be accessible via Amazon Fire console box that can stream content across smart TVs, tablets, phones, etc.

– In India, Star India has Hotstar which stream the television network’s channels.

– nexGTv recently partnered with Reliance Broadcast Network to gain worldwide digital rights to the network’s popular channels BIG Magic and BIG Magic Ganga. The platform includes a suite of 150+ Live TV channels aside from a huge content library comprising of movies, TV shows and videos.

– In October, Viacom18 Digital Ventures announced VOOT, a mobile video platform which would broadcast Viacom18 content, and create original content programming.

– Spuul started offering content from Multi Screen Media which owns and operates the Sony Network of television channels to stream its popular TV shows, and added more content from UTV.