YouTube TV Launched In Select Cities: Will It Phase Out Cable TV?

In the last 24 hours, YouTube started sending emails out to their members announcing the launch of YouTube TV. In the email, YouTube linked to their website where additional information could be found about this new YouTube feature.

"Finally, live TV made for you," is the motto stretched across the page in big and bold black lettering. The page also featured a blown up animated smartphone as well as a screen behind it demonstrating just what YouTube TV has to offer and how it looks when watching Live television.

The website page going into detail about the YouTube TV launch lists the main features of this new offering as Live TV streaming from popular cable networks including ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC; cloud DVR storage with no storage limits; and six accounts available per household.

Unlike Netflix, Hulu, and other digital TV services, YouTube allows you to share your membership with five other people, but the five people will use your membership on their own YouTube account. This means they get access to your membership, but will not have access to your profile. So, you don't have to worry about those using your membership seeing the embarrassing shows you enjoy binging on in your viewing history.

Someone browsing YouTube on a tablet with it also on the computer in the background
YouTube launches YouTube TV [Image by Denys Prykhodov/ShutterStock]

YouTube TV is being offered for $35 per month and customers can even get a month free as a trial to test out this new YouTube feature before committing to pay for it. This being a very common offering for services as Hulu, Netflix, and even Amazon Prime offer free trials to give customers the chance to test out the service before committing to paying for it.

Currently, YouTube TV is only available in select cities including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, and San Francisco Bay areas. YouTube, however, promised to be expanding this new service to more locations in the near future. Even though the service is only available in limited locations and has only been launched for a short period of time, it has been long enough for those with access to the service to give some initial feedback on whether or not YouTube TV is worthwhile.

Is YouTube TV worth $35 a month? Is YouTube TV going to phase out cable TV? Is this a service worth having? These are the question those debating on getting the service – or waiting for it to be available in their locations are dying to know the answers to.

According to the Chicago Tribune, YouTube TV does offer a number of "nifty features" but there are some drawbacks the media outlet feels customers should know about as well. The new YouTube service offers a number of different live sports options. Chicago Tribune considers this to be a positive as it is one of the main reasons why a lot of individuals stick to television. YouTube TV makes it possible for you to pick a team to follow and then it will record all of their televised games for you.

Some of the channels available include ESPN, Big Ten, Fox, CBS, and a number of sports networks via Comcast. Turner networks including TBS, however, are not part of the YouTube TV service. It is noteworthy that baseball fans may not be too happy with the service as it doesn't offer baseball games on SNY.

Chicago Tribune also believes the new YouTube service will draw in a younger audience as it offers CW networks and Freeform. CW is a network that a lot of YouTube TV rivals do not offer – other than Netflix. Netflix, however, doesn't offer live TV. YouTube TV has, however, recently landed AMC – which will be added in a few weeks making it possible for customers to watch shows such as The Walking Dead.

The channels on YouTube TV have been arranged by topics. Chicago Tribune also believed it was worth noting the five select cities the service is currently offered in are all locations where YouTube was able to get rights to the local stations. Will it be so easy for YouTube to get the necessary rights to offer this service to other cities?

In an attempt to phase out cable TV and be able to stand up against rival digital TV services, YouTube TV offers a search option that allows you to look up themes or topics instead of just shows. For example, looking up "nerd comedy" would bring up The Big Bang Theory. Chicago Tribune notes this neat feature isn't perfect as other various of a similar search such as nerd and comedy should also bring up The Big Bang Theory, but it doesn't.

Chicago Tribune also believes the new YouTube service would benefit from making it possible for customers to record anything featuring a certain actor or actress as well.

Arguably one of the biggest pluses about YouTube TV is the unlimited DVR storage. In addition to being unlimited, the cloud storage will hold anything you record for nine months. This can be compared to Sony's Vue which also offers unlimited storage, but only holds what you record for 28 days before deleting it.

As far as privacy is concerned, YouTube is part of Google and Google makes a lot of money via advertising. For this reason, there are some concerns that YouTube will be tracking what subscribers are watching in order to target advertising on their website – and on Google – to Google's own personal gain.

A person operating YouTube using a remote
Will YouTube TV phase out cable TV? [Image by A. Aleksandravicius/ShutterStock]

Whether or not YouTube TV is going to phase out cable TV is something that only time will tell. Until the service is available across the United States and works out all of the kinks, it isn't something cable TV has to worry about.

If YouTube TV was available in your location – would you get the membership? Do you think you would consider canceling your cable TV subscription for YouTube TV? Please share your thoughts with us in the comment's section down below.

[Featured Image by Castleski/ShutterStock]