YouTube Expands Into More Markets -- WIll Price Competition Follow?

YouTube, already the 800-lb. gorilla in video, has raised its ambitions even more by offering its YouTube TV streaming service in another 10 U.S. markets. In all, YouTube TV now serves 15 markets.

YouTube said consumers will be able to access live TV from ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC in all the additional markets except for the Dallas-Fort Worth market which has CBS, FOX, and NBC but has only on-demand prime-time programming from ABC. Those feeds are considered a value-add and differentiator in an already crowded market for streaming video services.

YouTube TV was initially only available in L.A., New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and the San Francisco Bay area. Now,it's also available in Washington, D.C., Houston, Atlanta, Phoenix, Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, Charlotte, and Dallas-Fort Worth.

YouTube TV, of course, is competing again services like Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now, and Hulu’s Live TV service. All offer roughly comparable programming. 

However,  the company seems to be making an attempt to target younger viewers: those who are already accessing video on YouTube vs. television. Nielsen data indicates that more than half of YouTube TV viewers are 13- to 34-year-olds -- a rather high percentage of a younger audience segment.

Meanwhile, YouTube is touting a lower price compared to cable offerings. For example, YouTube TV is around $35 per month, which is less than half of the average cable subscription.

But that's not a new claim. The other streaming services try to pack as much programming in their packages as possible, too. They also tout the price differential.

YouTube TV's price is comparable to rival services including SlingTV and Hulu Live. It's unclear whether price wars among the streaming services are imminent and if they will make a difference in causing consumers to switch around.

Of course some people already subscribe to more than one service and the cost quickly adds up. Are we headed into price wars for streaming video services, same as the cable TV wars and for mobile data service plans? Wait and see.

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