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Sling TV Loses 100K Subscribers in Q1 2021, But Improves Compared to Last Year

Jason Gurwin

After seeing a slight uptick of 16K subscribers, they lost 100K subscribers in the Q1 2021. This is a much smaller decline than the 281K subscribers they lost in the first quarter last year. In total, the company now has 2.37 million subscribers, which is down from the nearly 2.6 million they had at the end of 2019.

Their parent, Dish Network in total lost 230K Pay-TV subscribers, which was a big improvement compared to the 413K they lost in the same quarter last year.

Sling TV recently increased the price of Sling Orange and Sling Blue by $5 to $35 a month. At part of the price increase, they bundled a 50 Hour DVR as part of the service, which used to be a $5 add-on.

Last week, they launched a promotion that includes your first month of service and their premium DVR for just $10.

Sling TV has rolled out an integration with non-profit streaming service, Locast, which will bring locals in 29 markets to those that use their AirTV streaming device.

Hulu Live TV ($65) maintains its lead as the largest Live TV Streaming Service with 4 million subscribers. YouTube TV announced they surpassed three million subscribers in their Q3 earnings report, while Sling TV was the third largest after they added 16K subscribers in Q4, giving them 2.474 million.

Philo is also likely ahead, last reporting they were at 800K subscribers in November. fuboTV ($65) reported they reached 548,000 subscribers at the end of the fourth quarter (72% year-over-year increase). AT&T, which no longer reports AT&T TV NOW subscribers, finished 2020 at 656K subscribers.

In an interview with The Streamable, Sling TV Group President, Michael Schwimmer, told us the key to reinvorgating Sling’s growth is focusing on the basics. “Beyond price, (customers) care about their programming and making sure they get the channels they they want, they care about reliability, and they care about the user experience,” said Schwimmer.

“I could talk about things like sports wagering and other new cool, innovative features, but the basics matter. We can still do better with the basics. We’re working on really improving the user experience from a number of perspectives, both what I’ll call technical quality, as well as the user experience of the app itself and making it easy to find content and easy to navigate.”

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