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YouTube TV Hits 5 Million Subscribers; Becomes Largest Live TV Streaming Service

Matt Tamanini

While more and more people are moving away from traditional pay-TV subscriptions, that doesn’t mean that they are comfortable losing access the linear content that they have enjoyed for years. So, a cord-cutting middle ground has become popular in recent years which frees customers from the expensive, long-term subscriptions of cable and satellite while also giving them the live TV that they know and love.

Showing the growing popularity of live TV streaming services, on Tuesday, YouTube TV announced that it had become the first such service to cross 5 million subscribers, as of June 2022, after launching on Feb. 28, 2017.

In a blog on the company’s website, YouTube’s vice president of product management for YouTube TV and connected TV Christian Oestlien said, “When we launched YouTube TV five years ago, we wanted to make watching TV even more enjoyable — featuring a modern product experience without all the commitments, equipment fees and hassle. Today, we’re humbled that five million of you are currently on this journey with us.”

Technically, YouTube is saying that the service has “5 million subscribers and trialers,” since some portion of the people on the introductory two-week free trial undoubtedly won’t convert to paid customers, but the streamer’s paid subscriber number will still likely be significantly more than that of its closest competitor.

The last time that Disney shared a quarterly earnings report, the company announced that Hulu Live TV had dropped 200,000 subscribers to bring its total to 4.1 million. To be fair, live streaming services often see dips in the first quarter of the year as football fans unsubscribe, but that is a feature of these services, not a bug.

Allowing customers to come and go as they please is part of the value proposition offered by live streamers that stands in contrast to their pay-TV counterparts.

For comparison, Sling TV most recently reported having 2.25 million subscribers, sports-focused live streamer fuboTV reportedly has 1.05M subscribers, and the last reported numbers for Philo suggest that it has 800,000 subscribers.

Currently, YouTube TV offers over 100 channels, an unlimited cloud-based DVR, a wide array of Spanish-language content, and much more.

YouTube TV

YouTube TV is a live TV streaming service with more than 60 channels for $64.99/month. This plan includes local channels, 32 of the top 35 cable channels, and regional sports networks (RSNs) in select markets.

With the recent addition of Viacom channels (BET, MTV, Comedy Central, etc.) to the service, they are only without Hallmark and A+E Networks (Lifetime, History, A&E).

They recently added NFL Network and new Sports Plus add-on which include channels like NFL RedZone for $11 a month.

YouTube TV offers select 4K content, including some live sports and on-demand shows, as part of their 4K Plus add-on. The 4K Plus add-on is $19.99 a month and also includes offline downloads and unlimited streams on your home network.

If you want a cheaper service with many of the entertainment channels on YouTube TV, you can subscribe to Philo which includes A+E, Discovery, Viacom, Hallmark, and other channels for just $20 a month after a 7-Day Free Trial.

DIRECTV STREAM Cash Back

Let us know your e-mail address to send your $50 Amazon Gift Card when you sign up for DIRECTV STREAM.

You will receive it ~2 weeks after you complete your first month of service.

Sling TV Cash Back

Let us know your e-mail address to send your $25 Uber Eats Gift Card when you sign up for Sling TV.

You will receive it ~2 weeks after you complete your first month of service.

Hulu Live TV Cash Back

Let us know your e-mail address to send your $35 Amazon Gift Card when you sign up for Hulu Live TV.

You will receive it ~2 weeks after you complete your first month of service.