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YouTube could soon become your free cable operator

Heating up competition with the likes of Roku, Pluto TV, and more.

Published onJanuary 16, 2023

YouTube on smartphone stock photo 18
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • YouTube could soon offer a new hub of free, ad-supported TV channels.
  • The company is currently testing it with a subset of users.
  • It is expected to roll out widely later this year.

YouTube is reportedly testing a new free, ad-supported hub. According to The Wall Street Journal, YouTube is in talks with a number of entertainment companies to feature their movies and shows in the hub of cable-like TV channels.

Sources confirmed to the publication that YouTube is currently testing the concept with a small number of media partners. The board rollout of the free cable channels on the platform could launch later this year.

By adding a hub of free content with ads, YouTube may be vying to compete with established industry players like Tubi, Pluto TV, and Roku, which all offer a similar catalog of free movies and TV shows.

YouTube also recently rolled out a way for users to sign-up for over 30 paid streaming services directly through its platform. It seems YouTube is getting in on various different streaming business models to keep up with the competition.

A YouTube spokeswoman confirmed to WSJ that the company is running a small experiment with a handful of viewers, allowing them to watch ad-supported channels for free.

“We’re always looking for new ways to provide viewers a central destination to more easily find, watch and share the content that matters most to them,” the spokeswoman said.

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