YouTube Primetime Channels

YouTube is bringing Primetime Channels to the UK

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YouTube’s Primetime Channels are being launched in the UK — we bring you the lowdown on yet another way to watch your favourite shows

Various industry outlets, including Broadcast Now and Digital TV (Europe), are reporting on the latest foray into the Uk streaming market. This time it’s YouTube with their Primetime Channels. Every few weeks it seems there’s yet another way to watch TV and viewers can be forgiven for finding the increasing number of choices confusing. This is the problem YouTube intends to fix. We in the UK are the third market for this — it’s already launched in the US and Germany.

Option Paralysis — just too many ways to watch

A quick survey of viewing habits among the CultBox team paints a Byzantine array of ways to get at the same content. A typical Smart TV may offer a Netflix button on the remote. There may be Disney+ and Apple TV+ apps as well. Plug in a Firestick and you get a wide range of Prime Video and FreeVee shows as well, never mind how both Amazon and Apple let you buy content from other services (Paramount+ and Lionsgate being popular).

We’ve skipped over iPlayer, All 4, ITVX and other UK specific services, and many people will have NOW TV. Many, if not all Smart TVs give access to YouTube and we’ve even had instances of people watching live TV as it’s broadcast!

Factor in various accounts on various apps and it’s no wonder viewers often decide not to hunt down content if it involves too many clicks.

Enter Primetime Channels

If only there was one way to access everything. If you already have a Firestick / Prime Video (and many Smart TVs have something similar) / Apple TV+ you can go to a single point and from their (in theory) get to everything. The breadth of these varies, with Prime Video perhaps the richest and also most like wading through treacle. Sometimes it’s hard to avoid the recommendations for paid content.

YouTube’s offering is another aggregator (we simplify) with a key point in its favour a lot of people already use YouTube. Here’s where demographics are important. In August, Ofcom published their latest Media Nations report. From their trends article, we’ve grabbed:

More than a third of online adults watch short-form video (videos shorter than ten minutes) daily, with younger audiences more likely to do so. YouTube is the most popular social platform for short-form video platform, followed by Facebook and Instagram.

Add this to the following from the Digital TV (Europe) link above:

According to a study by Nielsen, 65% of YouTube viewers in the UK discover TV content through the YouTube recommendation engine, with 49% of YouTube UK viewers who watch content related to streaming services, said that the platform made them want to continue using a paid service.

While studies are only indicative, the numbers impress. For now the service offers Paramount+, Lionsgate+, Hayu, History Play and Crime & Investigation Play, but we expect that to grow. The we way we watch content continues to evolve, and we continue to report as it does.