The virtual MVPD model is beginning to morph into the Amazon Channels way of doing things.
Case in point: Google just announced that its virtual pay TV service, YouTube TV, has signed a deal with AMC Networks to distribute subscription streaming services Acorn TV and Urban Movie Channel (UMC).
Acorn TV, which is an SVOD service featuring popular British television series, can be added through YouTube TV at the standard subscription price of $5.99 a month. UMC, which features African-American-targeted films and TV shows for on demand streaming, is also available for the standard $4.99-a-month price.
The add-ons show up on the user’s YouTube TV bill. This aggregation model looks familiar by now because it is. Amazon started it four years ago with its Channels adjunct, and others—including Roku and Apple—have followed suit with similar services.
For their part, streamers of live-streamed bundles—the so-called vMVPDs—are now adopting the a la carte strategy, as well. Notably, Dish Network’s Sling TV has held—at least somewhat—firm to its $25-a-month price point, while enabling consumers to expand their bundles through optional ad-on subscriptions.
Google hasn't released any subscription numbers for YouTube TV. But research company MoffettNathanson estimates the service reached around 1.5 million users at the end of the second quarter.