YouTube’s feeling up for a little healthy competition in the ad-supported streaming space.

“I actually want a lot of competition because it will cause more dollars to flow into the space,” Tara Walpert Levy, vice president of agency and brand solutions at YouTube’s parent company Google, said this morning at the NewFronts’ MediaLink breakfast confab. (Also in attendance, left to right above, were Business Insider’s editor in chief Alyson Shontell, JPMorgan Chase & Co. chief marketing officer Kristin Lemkau, MediaLink chairman and CEO Michael Kassan, and Joshua Lowcock, UM Worldwide’s global brand safety officer and U.S. chief digital and innovation officer.)

Shontell chimed in, “So you actually want Facebook Watch to do that well?”

“That would be great,” Walpert Levy replied.

Walpert Levy also noted that YouTube is currently the biggest player in the ad-supported streaming space, with a whopping 2 billion monthly users.  Walpert Levy also called out Hulu as a big player; it has 25 million users and offers ad-supported as well as ad-free subscription tiers.

Facebook Watch, which launched in 2017 and went global last August, currently counts around 400 million monthly viewers, putting it far behind YouTube, which now clocks a whopping 2 billion. The streaming space is dominated by other giants with hundreds of millions of users — Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video — and is about to become even more crowded as Disney, Apple, and WarnerMedia plan to launch their own streaming services later this year.

It seems YouTube’s hoping that fiercer competition will amp up the amount of advertising dollars marketers are willing to pour into the streaming space. If more cash does come flowing in, that’ll be good for YouTube, since it’s in the midst of a major shift that’ll see all its original programming become free to watch (aka ad-supported) by 2020.

You can check out our interview with Brian Albert, managing director of media partnerships at YouTube and Google, above, and our chat with Kassan below:

And you can check out the rest of Tubefilter‘s interviews from our ‘Insights from the 2019 Digital Content NewFronts’ video series right here.

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