Since the launch of the Original Channels Initiative, YouTube content has increasingly resembled that of the small screen; we’ve even seen programming from the initiative make the jump to TV. British satellite provider Freesat is now taking things to the next level. In March, it will be the home of a Google-produced TV app on which users can watch their favorite YouTube content.
Users will be able to browse Youtube through the smartphone-powered app, which will be available in Freesat’s TV guide. It is a similar technological advancement to YouTube’s recently-added remote control functionality, but without any need for a Google TV.
18 British channels were launched as part of the October 2012 expansion of the project, and several–including Bad Teeth and Guinness World Records’ OMG–have already produced winning content. The YouTube TV channel is counting on Brits’ interest in the Original Channels, which have the ability to keep interest high.
YouTube TV isn’t just revolutionary in the way it is taking online video to the small screen. It is also a rare ‘channel’ based around a high level of customization rather than a specific slate of programming. The most pressing question is whether viewers will flock to this service because they can control the flow of their TV experience or if they will prefer to continue watching shows on channels specifically engineered to their interests.
One thing is clear: the British YouTube TV app is an experiment, and if it is successful, an American version will not be far behind. Those hoping for more legitimacy in the online video industry must implore their friends across their pond to tune in.