YouTube has partnered with a long list of streaming services to offer third-party subscriptions to U.S. users directly through its platform. More than 30 different streaming service memberships including Paramount+, Showtime, AMC+, Starz, IFC, Epix, Sundance Now, and Vix+ will now be purchase-able on YouTube’s site and app via the new “Primetime Channels” feature.
And once users sign up for a subscription through the platform, that content will be displayed and viewable alongside all the standard YouTube fare in searches and suggestions. Now, next to content from your favorite vloggers, you’ll be able to find and watch things like AMC’s Interview with the Vampire series or movies from Magnolia Pictures.
The company’s roll-out of Primetime Channels begins today, according to a blog post from the platform’s director of product management, Erin Teague. Once a user has access to the new feature, the option to sign up for streaming subscriptions will be viewable in the Movies & TV hub. After signing up, “content from your Primetime Channels will be reflected into the YouTube experience you know and love,” said YouTube in its statement.
“Primetime Channels homepages will feature shows and movies with curated trailers, behind-the-scenes footage and cast interviews. When searching for content from your purchases, you’ll be able to quickly identify and access them in the search results, alongside videos from your favorite creators. And YouTube recommendations will also include programs from Primetime Channels,” the company added.
YouTube has offered a limited number of movies and TV shows for rent or purchase for a while now. But the third-party additions signal a big expansion into the long(er) form entertainment category. The platform’s more than 2.5 billion monthly users already come to YouTube for movie and show trailers and other content—and the company is hoping those same viewers will seamlessly transition into Primetime subscribers.
Many streaming services already have third-party partnerships in place. Paramount+, for instance, is available through the Walmart+ membership and The Roku Channel. And Hulu offers a Showtime add-on. So the YouTube move is nothing new.
However, the sheer number of streaming sign-ups available through the Alphabet-owned company now makes YouTube a real competitor with other major tech giants’ entertainment platforms like Amazon Prime or Apple+.
And the company isn’t stopping there. YouTube said it is hoping to expand into international markets and add more channels/streamers in the future.