YouTube could soon launch a marketplace for video streaming services

Mike Wheatley

It’s said that YouTube is plotting to create something called a “channel store” that will allow users to buy subscriptions to a range of video streaming services, all in one place.


According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, YouTube has actually been working on its “streaming video marketplace” for more than 18 months. Given the length of time it has been working on the offering, it is reportedly almost ready to launch, and could go live in the autumn.

In the U.S., services like AMC+, HBO Max and Showtime are already available as add-ons to a standard U.S. YouTube TV subscription. So from that point of view, the company is already half way there. But it is hoping to add additional services to its new channel store, ahead of what could be a “global launch”.

The Journal doesn’t go into much detail, but the implication is that YouTube could also offer streaming subscriptions to services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney Plus through a single pane of glass. We imagine it’s a lot less likely that Alphabet, the parent company of YouTube, would be able to convince Apple to get on board with the idea.

YouTube will of course need to agree terms with each proposed partner. A source who is “familiar with the situation” told the Journal that YouTube is apparently holding discussions about “splitting subscription revenue” with the partners. The source added that the terms will likely vary for each partner. That makes sense, because Netflix, for example, is under pressure and though it does want to boost its subscriber base, we can’t imagine it would want to give up a great deal of its income to do so. But less popular streaming services might be willing to sacrifice more for the visibility YouTube could give them.

It remains to be seen exactly what YouTube’s proposed channel store will look like, but the source said it will likely show some trailers of movies and shows from its partner’s services. In this way, it hopes to tempt viewers with little tidbits and then get them to subscribe via a single click.

It’s said that YouTube’s plans for the channel store have accelerated due to increased competition among streaming firms over subscribers. Recently, Netflix revealed it had lost more than a million subscribers globally during the last quarter, while Amazon Prime lost 589,000 in the U.K. alone.