YouTube is reportedly thinking about offering offer third-party subscriptions to video streaming services.
The Google-owned company aims to give customers the ability to sign up for a “wide range of subscription-streaming services run by entertainment companies,” according to The Information. From what we can tell, YouTube basically wants to better rival Amazon and Apple, by allowing customers to subscribe to other streaming services such as HBO Now, Netflix, CBS All Access.
Amazon already allows Prime Video subscribers and Fire TV owners to do this, through its Amazon Channels initiative, and Apple too allows it via Apple TV. These companies, of course, get a cut of revenue from every sign-up. The Information said analysts think Amazon made $2.6 billion from channel subscriptions in 2019, and that it will grow to a $3.6 billion business in 2020.
Keep in mind Google recently revealed YouTube Premium and YouTube Music have 20 million paid subscribers, while the YouTube TV package has two million subscribers. YouTube, itself, also has two billion monthly users who watch and upload millions of hours of content for free.
Add it all up, and it certainly seems likely that YouTube would want to develop ways to further entice customers away from the likes of Apple and Amazon while also generating a new, lucrative revenue stream.