YouTube is launching a streaming subscription hub, taking on Roku and Amazon

The news: YouTube is launching a storefront hub called Primetime Channels, through which users can subscribe to 34 streaming services including Paramount+, Spanish-language Vix+, AMC+, and several other boutique or smaller brands.

  • Users have already had access to some streamers via a YouTube TV subscription, but anyone can access the Primetime Channel hub.

Major streaming brands like Netflix, Disney+, and others are conspicuously absent despite some of them being available via bundles elsewhere.

Shoving its way into CTVs: The streaming wars may have focused on a handful of major brands like Netflix, Disney, and HBO, but don’t be fooled—YouTube has a massive hold on CTV audiences and is trying to take up more territory.

  • For the first time ever this year, less than half of all time spent on YouTube (49.3%) will be on mobile devices. CTV is making up a larger share of viewership each year, growing from 30.5% in 2020 to 36.4% this year.
  • Consumers’ time spent viewing YouTube rivals the major streaming services, per our forecast: In 2022, users will spend an average of 31 minutes per day on YouTube, compared with 33 minutes for Netflix and 23 minutes for Hulu.
  • With Primetime Channels, YouTube is stepping on Amazon and Roku’s toes as a digital video distribution platform, without the need for a plug-in CTV device like an Amazon Fire Stick or Roku Express box.

Our take: YouTube has been inching into CTV and streaming for some time now, winning a larger share of ad dollars and expanding its non-user-generated content on offer. Its omission of major streaming rivals shows that it’s going toe-to-toe with the biggest streaming brands, but has a leg up on them thanks to its origins on other platforms.

This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Marketing & Advertising Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the advertising industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.