Will Millennials pay for network TV on YouTube?

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LOS ANGELES — Who’s tired of paying those huge cable subscriptions? What if you could just get the handful of networks you like to watch, via YouTube?

The world’s largest video network is reportedly looking at joining Hulu, Sling TV and others with an offering for cord cutters to subscribe just to the channels you want to see, instead of paying big bucks for hundreds of them. The monthly offering, slated to potentially debut in March, 2017, has a target subscription price of $25-$40.

This week’s extended weekend edition of the #TalkingTech podcast weighs in, with guests Jim Armstrong the managing director of investment firm March Capital, analyst Mike Vorhaus, the president of Magid Advisors and Lippe Oosterhof, the CEO of live-streaming app Busker.

The YouTube service, said to be called Unplugged, has signed up CBS, according to reports, and is looking to add others before a planned March, 2017 launch.

“It won’t be a big hit, but will launch with 50,000 to 100,000 users who want to try it, and will grow from there,” says Armstrong.

YouTube launched the Red subscription service at the end of 2015, offering original series and movies by home-grown YouTube stars with built-in audiences.

The network hasn’t revealed subscriber stats on the $9.99 monthly network, but Vorhaus believes it’s under 1 million.

“It’s hard to get people to spend money on brand new original content,” he says. “There are so many great old reruns they can watch for free instead.”

The big question — would the audience, who surveys say are unlikely to even own physical TV sets, actually pay YouTube for the right to watch network TV shows?

Tune in for the discussion.

Also on this week’s show:

–We look at new research from Vorhaus showing just how interested consumers are in virtual reality.

–We meet yet another new live streaming app. Busker looks to take on Facebook with a twist–e-commerce sales tools.

–Armstrong weighs in on the next big tech trends–and finds it might be by bringing tech to retail.
Follow USA TODAY’s Jefferson Graham on Twitter, @jeffersongraham and listen to the #TalkingTech podcast daily on Stitcher and iTunes.

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