With its paid Premium streaming service, YouTube has a steep climb to even compete against entrenched services like Netflix. First it has to get our attention, so for one of its most-anticipated series, Impulse, it came up with an interesting promotion. Google Assistant owners can access the first episode by saying "talk to Impulse." The AI device will give a brief sum-up of the show and ask for a password (it's "Henry" and a few variants). Once you do that, you'll get a link to the first unlisted episode on YouTube.
Impulse (below) is a series from Bourne Identity director Doug Liman about a young girl who can teleport herself out of trouble, at the cost of breaking everything (and everyone) in the vicinity. The trailer does look intriguing, with elements of Stranger Things and Liman's own infamous Hayden Christensen vehicle, Jumper.
Google's paid streaming strategy has been a bit of a mess. It recently rebranded the service from YouTube Red, potentially confusing would-be subscribers. Before, you could get Red and Google Play Music for $10, but now you'll pay $12 to get YouTube Premium and another new service, YouTube Music Premium.
Getting Liman, The Rock, Robert Downey Jr. and Dan Harmon onboard was a coup for Google, but it's a seller's market for good content, with Netflix, Hulu, HBO and many, many others in the mix. As such, the service will be hard-pressed to get a slate of content even touching what Netflix has. The Assistant trick is a nice way for Google to do some cross-marketing, but for YouTube Premium to have any kind of chance, the few shows it has will need to be exceptionally good.
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