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YouTube may offer sign-ups for premium subscriptions like Showtime

Jon Fingas
Associate Editor
Olly Curtis/Future via Getty Images

YouTube may take a cue from Amazon and Apple in letting you put all your streaming services in one place. The Information sources say YouTube has spent the past several months talking to "several" streaming providers about allowing sign-ups for their services through YouTube. While there's no mention of names or how far along the talks might be (YouTube declined to comment), this would go well beyond the handful of services you can sign up for through YouTube TV, like Showtime.

The reasoning would be familiar. Like Amazon's Prime Video Channels or the Apple TV app, this would turn YouTube into a central hub for your online viewing. It'd be convenient and give you one less reason to drift toward the competition, even if there's little to no money headed YouTube's way. Of course, this would also give YouTube a way to pitch Premium, TV and other in-house offerings to viewers who otherwise wouldn't take a closer look.

Not that success is guaranteed. Facebook tried subscriptions to other services through Watch starting in summer 2019, but gave that up in November due to a lack of customer interest. These multi-service strategies only work if people are interested in both the destination and the services on offer. YouTube will have to show that it can serve as a one-stop shop for video services, not just as a place to go for funny cat clips and makeup tutorials.