New Live TV Streaming Numbers Place YouTube TV at Just Over 300K Subscribers and Hulu at 450K

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Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV both launched in the spring of 2017, offering customers over-the-top live television streaming options in line with established services like Sling TV and DirecTV Now.

Today, sources revealed to CNBC that Hulu with Live TV now has 450,000 paid subscribers -- "not including recent promotional customers" -- while YouTube TV has just over 300,000 as of the beginning of 2018.

Although neither service has been on the market for one full year, the sources delivering the subscriber numbers said that each company is "making some progress" in convincing users to cut the cord. However, analyst Rich Greenfield commented that any company offering a live TV streaming service may have trouble substantially growing their subscriber base "because canceling is so easy" and basic on-demand versions of Hulu and YouTube could be enough for many users.

"If you don't care about live sports, the original Hulu product is awesome," Greenfield said. "You can get all of the programming you want for more than $30 less. And YouTube is free. It actually shows you how poor the value proportion is for live TV."

[...] cable and satellite TV are stickier businesses than web-based services because they're so difficult to cancel, Greenfield said. "You can cancel these live streaming services with four clicks of a button," Greenfield said. "Have you tried canceling your cable?"

Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV are both beaten out by DirecTV Now and Sling TV, which were previously reported to have reached 1 million and more than 2 million paid subscribers, respectively. Another contender is PlayStation Vue, reported at 455,000 subscribers in Q3 2017. The subscriber numbers reported by CNBC today have not been confirmed by Hulu or YouTube, so there is still no official word regarding how accurate the data might be.

In terms of price, Hulu with Live TV starts at $39.99/month (this includes Hulu's on-demand service) and YouTube TV starts at $35/month. Hulu's service is also technically still in the beta phase, and on the FAQ section of its website Hulu states, "While we are truly proud of Hulu's live TV offering, we know that introducing any new service can come with "hiccups" from time to time, so we are first opening it up as a "Beta" to be transparent with our viewers."

The upcoming Apple TV app for YouTube TV

Since some of these over-the-top services are still new, many of them are in the process of adding a few user-requested features following their launches. At CES, Hulu announced Live TV will get a more traditional guide interface for browsing channels, and DirecTV Now customers are waiting for its cloud DVR to launch sometime in 2018. In the first quarter of 2018, YouTube TV also plans to debut an app for the Apple TV.

Top Rated Comments

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Avatar
33 months ago
YouTube TV needs to offer an Apple TV app.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
33 months ago
The point is you CAN save money if you do it right.

But the thing that attracts me most to these services is I can turn them on or off, or change providers anytime i want to.

For instance, I can fully cut the cord over the summer when i never watch live TV, and then sign back up in the Fall when I want to watch college football.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
33 months ago

$40 for streaming is ridiculous.

What is ridiculous about it?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
33 months ago

How is the playback quality? Are there pauses and delays, even on fast internet? My NBC Apple TV app constantly freezes and drops to a lower resolution even on a 100mbps connection. Same thing happened yesterday with the free CBS stream of the Eagles Vikings game.

I’m curious to know of any issues and if one service is better than the other in terms of streaming quality.

I have Hulu and am on 100/100 connection and the stream is HD most of the time. The NFC Championship game last night had a few downgrades in quality from time to time, but that is more the exception than the rule.
[doublepost=1516658047][/doublepost]

I pay about $70/month for 200Mbs Internet, the reason I don’t have cable isn’t because I want to save money but rather I don’t watch much and when I do I cannot stand the idea of paying money to watch commercials. If they offered me a cable package at the same price I’m paying now I wouldn’t take it. The only thing I miss is my MSG for Rangers games but I have ways to watch them anyways

Or a monthly fee to rent their equipment....Agree 100%.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
33 months ago
$40 for streaming is ridiculous.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
33 months ago

The price.

I guess that is a matter of opinion. I just cancelled my DirecTV service and replaced it with YouTubeTV. My bill went from $119 a month to $35. I am quite happy with the price.
[doublepost=1516643095][/doublepost]

How is the playback quality? Are there pauses and delays, even on fast internet? My NBC Apple TV app constantly freezes and drops to a lower resolution even on a 100mbps connection. Same thing happened yesterday with the free CBS stream of the Eagles Vikings game.

I’m curious to know of any issues and if one service is better than the other in terms of streaming quality.

From what I have heard, YouTubeTV has the fewest issues. I tried Hulu for a week and had no issues with any streaming (I have 150 Mbps service). I settled on YouTubeTV and am happy with it. In the few weeks I have had it, it has been stable and the picture quality was good.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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