On Tuesday, YouTube announced its own $35-a-month competitor to cable TV called YouTube TV, and the company thinks it has a secret weapon: its popularity with young people.
YouTube TV delivers a package of around 40 channels over the internet - to your smart TV, phone, computer - primarily based on deals with the big broadcast networks. There are some big programming holes, which we explored here, but YouTube says it's not trying to recreate the big cable bundle.
What YouTube is trying to do is convince young people to sign up for a pay TV package for the first time, not try and get older people to ditch their expensive cable packages. "This is TV reimagined for the YouTube generation," Christian Oestlien, the director of product management at YouTube, told Bloomberg.
YouTube is well-suited to go after this market. In fact, YouTube is actually more popular with teens than cable TV, according to a survey in October by Piper Jaffray (and only trails Netflix).
Piper Jaffray's last semi-annual survey of 10,000 US teens showed a whopping 26% of teens watched YouTube every day, putting it over cable TV for the first (25%). This continued an upward trend for YouTube and a downward one for cable.
Here is the full chart from Piper Jaffray:
Though teens won't likely be the ones signing up for a $35-a-month subscription, its popularity with them bodes well for YouTube's future in selling products as they age into their 20s.
"With younger viewers, we feel like you should fish where the fish are, and YouTube has a young audience," John Skipper, president of ESPN, told Bloomberg.