Editorial: YouTube TV Will Never Be Successful Like This




Depressed mature man holding paper and looking at it while sitting on the couch at home

YouTube TV is Google’s attempt to take on the growing live TV streaming market. It recently joined a crowded marketplace full of Sling TV, Hulu, PlayStation Vue, fuboTV, and DIRECTV NOW. Since its launch, other services such as CenturyLink and Spectrum also launched live TV streaming services.

Now it seems as though YouTube TV is making several critical errors that will prevent it from ever being as successful as it could be.

So today I want to take a moment to look at several critical errors YouTube TV is making.

Sorry, YouTube TV, People Still Love Their Big Screen TV

YouTube TV has tried to push the idea of a new way to watch your content since launch. This new way they are pushing? Watching on your phone.

Here is one of its new ways to watch ads:

The issue here is having a phone app is nothing special. All live TV streaming services and even most major cable TV companies have phone apps.

Add in the fact that most live TV streaming services also support Chromecast and YouTube TV is nothing special.

The even bigger problem here is the fact that the majority of Americans still watch most of their TV on a traditional TV set. Now it is true that video growth on phones and tablets is strong, 72% of all Americans ages 16–64 still watch TV on an actual TV a majority of the time.

Until YouTube TV starts rolling out support for other devices such as the Fire TV and Roku—some of the most popular streaming players—it will never be as successful as it could be.

Locals Are Not What They Used to Be

The other major selling point of YouTube TV is the fact that it offers locals. Sadly that is just not the big deal that it used to be. Over the last few months services such as Hulu, DIRECTV NOW, and PlayStation Vue have quickly been rolling out locals.

Now with Hulu, PlayStation Vue, and DIRECTV NOW all offering over 100 locals and others such as fuboTV adding more locals they are just not as hard to get as they used to be. Add in the fact that YouTube TV is launching in markets with great over-the-air TV reception the fact that they have locals just does not help it like it would have even a few months ago.

As YouTube TV waits until they have all the locals to launch in a market they let their competitors build a bigger lead in that area. As most Americans are creatures of habit as soon as they find something that works for them they are far less likely to switch.

If YouTube TV ever wants to be successful and grow as large as Sling TV, DIRECTV NOW, Hulu, and PlayStation Vue it needs to roll out more device support and go nationwide. Sadly, YouTube TV has made no moves to bring its live TV streaming service to more devices and because of that will never be as successful as it could be.

So what do you think? Will YouTube TV take off without supporting some of the largest streaming players? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.

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