The Young Turks have demonstrated that a news network can reach an even bigger audience by leaving cable.
The online network, founded by former MSNBC host Cenk Uygur, has built a massive following over the past few years by offering videos on its own site and on YouTube — and convincing loyal viewers to pay for it.
As a result, it became the first news and politics focused-network to hit 1 billion views on YouTube last year, prompting a celebration at the company's Los Angeles studio. At the time, Uygur was hosting a show on Current TV — his landing spot after MSNBC.
When Al-Jazeera America bought Current, it said Uygur's show would be discontinued. So Uygur and COO Steven Oh shifted their focus to expanding the network online, adding a subscription YouTube channel and expanding to more than a dozen shows on the flagship.
This week, the company launched apps on both Roku and mobile devices using Google’s Android operating system.
TheWrap's Lucas Shaw explains how the Young Turks is building a model those on YouTube and cable will want to copy: