Midsize digital media is working to add channels to YouTube TV

YouTube TV is negotiating deals with several midsize digital media companies, including Vox Media, Brat TV and Pocket.Watch, to add linear OTT channels to its platform, reports The Information.

Marketers are increasingly shifting their ad budgets to streaming platforms that serve ads for viewers, including NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service and ViacomCBS’ Paramount+.

Historically, YouTube has struggled to attract advertisers who spend a large portion of their budget on broadcast and cable TV. While YouTube TV has just north of 3 million subscribers in Q3 2021, the company continues to leverage the OTT streaming service to convince advertisers to shift their TV budgets to the platform.

In some cases, live TV shows viewed on the platform cannot be skipped by the viewer. Additionally, in distribution agreements negotiated with content providers, YouTube is allowed to sell a portion of ad breaks to advertisers.

YouTube TV currently offers over 85 live streaming TV channels, a selection of popular broadcast and cable channels. The three companies listed above offer free streaming content on various platforms, including The Roku Channel and Pluto TV, among others.

Vox, Brat, Pocket.Watch and other medium-sized streaming platforms typically offer free content to consumers, in exchange for branded offers and advertising. For example, “Chicken Girls,” a scripted series by Brat, has a brand deal with Wrigley’s Extra chewing gum.

The YouTube TV deal provides these media companies with a new opportunity for incremental revenue, likely through a revenue-sharing deal with YouTube. Midsize media companies have been looking for ways to continue to grow revenue, with some companies possibly looking to launch public offerings in the coming months.

It also comes months after Protocol announced that Google plans to add free live TV channels to the platform.

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