YouTube TV Price Hike: How Users Are Reacting to the Service’s 30 Percent Price Increase
YouTube TV announced this morning that it is raising its price to $64.99. The 30 percent price hike goes into effect immediately for existing users, and for everyone else on their next billing cycle (after July 30). The news comes just a month after the company announced they would be adding Viacom channels like MTV, VH1, and Comedy Central, which are launching on YouTube TV today.
This is the third, and largest, price increase for the service since launching. In March 2018, YouTube TV raised its price from $35 to $40 for new customers. In March 2019, after adding Discovery channels to the service, it raised the price from $40 to $50 – including those grandfathered at the $35 pricing when the service first launched.
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YouTube TV also recently removed YES Network, Fox Sports West and Fox Sports Prime Ticket in New York and Los Angeles. The service did, however, reach a last-minute deal to keep Fox Sports RSNs in most other primary markets.
It’s always going to be tough to get users on board with a price increase that steep, but the move comes at a time when many subscribers are stuck at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and users were quick to take to social media to voice their opinions – mostly negative.
We put together a handy guide of alternatives to YouTube TV for those looking to switch.
What Customers Are Saying on Twitter
Had the service since it launched. It used to cost 35 a month. Then it went to 50 (which was fine) and now going up to 65. Why can’t we have a choice and opt out of the new channels being added to avoid the 15 DOLLAR INCREASE? #YoutubeTv https://t.co/vqBY3gwjPN pic.twitter.com/NKXm9LkpKt— Michelle Swan (@CatherineSwan89) June 30, 2020
I just happily canceled my @YouTubeTV account. Why will we soon pay $65? All of this bundling and more is all cyclical and this price is essentially the same as cable.— Dexter Johnson #BLM (@Dexter_Johnson) June 30, 2020
Cutting the cord is about saving and paying for what you want. #CancelYouTubeTV
I’m not upset by the price increase, because YouTube TV is the best service for me. I’ve tried AT&T Now, Sling, and Philo. None beat YT TV - all local channels incl PBS, unlimited DVR, 3 concurrent streams, channel order customization, and 6 family member accounts. https://t.co/ylhY5ch6CT— Andrew Whitis (@awhitis) June 30, 2020
man, I really picked the wrong time to cord cut. $50/month was fun while it lasted. https://t.co/oNxtiqGRw3— Brad Crawford (@BCrawford247) June 30, 2020
Man, YouTubeTV was solid at $40 a month. But going all the way to $60 is crazy. But with no live sports, no added channels of value and paying HBO Max ontop of this… Might be time to say goodbye… https://t.co/MeZrcsVhd7— Miguel Lozada (@MLozada) June 30, 2020
I’ll be honest - I’m torn. I like the new channels added. I have a sincere concern though. We saw an increase once before this (that I expected - from 35 to 50) and now this. The savings is no longer relevant.— Chris Barrows - Let’s Play Games 🎲 (@CBarrows) June 30, 2020
And the new deal isn’t a new agreement w/ @YESNetwork https://t.co/4DAI9216uS
Welp, it was fun while it lasted.— Liam Nee (@LiamNee) June 30, 2020
At $65/mo, YouTube TV increases price by 62.5% from May of last year, nearly doubling its initial ‘17 cost. Tbh, I’d rather Google bombard me with personalized ads utilizing data it already has, but maybe that’s too easy. https://t.co/FRzBghkhAm
YouTube TV Response
In response to the backlash, YouTube TV tweeted that while it would “like to offer channels a la carte, it’s not fully up to [them].” The service added that most networks require their full slate of channels to be included in licensing deals.
Most networks require that we include their full portfolio of channels to subscribers, which increases the overall price of the service. We’re committed to continuing to innovate our service and offer flexible options to members in the future.— YouTube TV (@YouTubeTV) June 30, 2020