The first digital media networks have popped up on YouTube TV, with the addition of two new channels from the startup Cheddar. Earlier this month, Digiday had reported how YouTube’s streaming television service, YouTube TV, would soon gain new channels from a variety of digital media publishers, including Cheddar, Tastemade and The Young Turks Network. The move would help to better differentiate YouTube TV from its rivals delivering TV over the internet, while also making the service more appealing to the younger demographic YouTube TV targets – those who didn’t grow up watching traditional TV.
One of YouTube TV’s new channels is Cheddar’s flagship financial news network, and the other is Cheddar’s general news network, Cheddar Big News.
Variety was the first to spot that the new Cheddar channels had gone live.
While it hasn’t been all that common to find digital media natives streaming alongside broadcast and cable channels across the newer crop of streaming TV services, YouTube TV is not the first to add Cheddar to its lineup.
Dish-owned Sling TV had already added Cheddar’s financial news network to its streaming TV service, and will soon add Cheddar Big News, too, as will the streaming service Philo, Variety noted in its report.
On YouTube TV, Cheddar viewers will be able to watch its programming both live and on-demand.
The addition of digital media channels like Cheddar’s could help YouTube expand its lineup quickly and affordably, without having to carve out more complex deals with cable TV network owners. But the company will have to be careful in selecting those digital channels it decides to make part of its lineup. Too much digital-first content could dilute YouTube TV’s overall brand proposition – that this is a streaming “television” service on par with its competition, and not one with filler content you could watch elsewhere – like on Facebook’s video section or even YouTube proper.
Cheddar’s live streams, for example, are also available on Amazon, Spotify, Facebook, Twitter, Comcast X1, Twitch and elsewhere.
YouTube TV recently raised it pricing to $40 per month, up from $35, to be more in line with the competition.
That’s a crowded market as of late. In addition to Sling TV, YouTube TV’s rivals including PlayStation Vue, AT&T’s DirecTV Now, Hulu’s Live TV, fuboTV, CBS All Access, and Philo.
Now it has to make good on what those extra dollars are delivering to viewers.
“Cheddar’s emphasis on tech and media news coverage make it a strong fit for the millennial tech-savvy audience that also loves YouTube TV,” said Christian Oestlien, Director of Product, YouTube TV, in a statement about the launch. “From Closing Bell reports live from the floor of the NYSE stock exchange on Cheddar to headline news on Cheddar Big News, Cheddar will bring new and insightful news content to YouTube TV.”