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Hulu reportedly nears 2 million live TV subscribers as YouTube TV crosses 1 million

Hulu reportedly nears 2 million live TV subscribers as YouTube TV crosses 1 million


Both TV services adding hundreds of thousands of new subscribers each quarter

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Hulu and YouTube are faring very well with their live TV streaming services, according to a new report from Bloomberg, which says the two companies have around 3 million customers combined. (That’s strictly for their internet TV offerings; both obviously have many more people using their respective primary service.) Broken down, Hulu with Live TV is quickly “nearing” two million subscribers and YouTube TV has passed 1 million.

Each company “continues to add hundreds of thousands” of live TV customers each quarter, the report says. YouTube TV raised its subscription price to $40 per month in late January, coinciding with its announcement of nationwide availability. I guess there’s something to be said for a good user experience, which both YouTube TV and Hulu have prioritized with their apps. The former is our pick for best overall streaming TV service.

As for their competitors, the Dish-owned Sling TV ended 2018 with 2.417 million subscribers, putting it at the top of the pack. AT&T’s DirecTV Now wrapped the year with 1.6 million customers. But Bloomberg alludes to stalling momentum for both services; Sling TV is running a promotional discount on a three-month subscription right now, and DirecTV Now has been losing customers of late — not gaining them. Sony hasn’t recently disclosed its subscriber count for PlayStation Vue: a take-it-with-a-grain-of-salt report from back in the fall pegged the number at just 500,000.

Significant changes could be afoot for several of the major streaming TV services in 2019. For one, Disney hasn’t really outlined what it plans to do with Hulu’s live TV offering once it takes control of the company pending approval of its huge Fox deal. And AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has suggested that DirecTV will need to undergo some changes to reach profitability. He said $50 to $60 per month feels like the “right” subscription fee for the service.