September 28, 2018
Hulu’s live TV streaming service, launched just over a year ago, has topped one million subscribers, up from the 800,000 Hulu announced in May and the estimated 450,000 reported by CNBC at the beginning of the year. While its new service numbers are on the rise, they remain a mere fraction of Hulu’s total base of more than 20 million subscribers (including its paid on-demand programming). However, the milestone is significant considering the competition in the burgeoning space between services such as Sling TV from Dish (2.3 million subscribers) and AT&T’s DirecTV Now (1.8 million subscribers).
Additionally, YouTube TV reached 800,000 subscribers in May, while Sony’s PlayStation Vue now has more than 500,000.
According to TechCrunch, “There are also a growing number of niche streaming services, ranging from the sports-focused fuboTV to the valued priced cable-like package offered by Philo, which was recently trying to increase distribution through a bundle deal with Pandora. (Hulu has a similar deal with Spotify). Plus, AT&T quickly capitalized on the Time Warner merger with a second, low-cost service called WatchTV.”
Many services have recently raised their prices as they introduce extras including “expanded storage on cloud DVRs, extra streams, or premium add-ons.” TechCrunch suggests the price hikes are “more in line with a cable TV bill than ever before.”
“Hulu has invested a lot into making its live TV service feel more natural for those used to cable TV,” explains The Verge. “Earlier this year it introduced a channel guide to let users flip between channels, keep track of what’s on, and choose new shows to record straight from the guide. It also introduced a ‘recent channels’ option to show the last 10 channels you’ve watched, and a new portion of the menu that displays the last channel you watched.”