February 15, 2018
Starting next month, new subscribers to YouTube TV will face a $5 monthly increase. The new price will run $40 per month; however, existing subscribers will continue to pay $35. The good news for consumers is that the service announced a major content expansion with new offerings from Turner, NBA TV and MLB Network. The base package now includes Turner networks such as Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, CNN, HLN, TBS, TNT, truTV and Turner Classic Movies. MLB Network and NBA TV will soon join the lineup.
YouTube TV already features some regional sports and popular networks including ABC, AMC, Bravo, CBS, CW, Disney Channel, ESPN, FOX, FX, FXX, MSNBC, NBC, Syfy, USA, and others. With the recent addition of numerous TV markets, the service now reportedly reaches more than 85 percent of U.S. households in the top 100 markets.
The price increase, which begins March 15, brings YouTube TV more in line with Hulu Live TV and Sony’s PlayStation Vue. Current subscribers, and those who sign-up prior to March 15, will only be charged the original $35 per month.
“Other competitors continue to offer lower starting subscription prices,” reports The Verge. “Sling TV starts at $20, while DirecTV Now’s base package is $35. YouTube seems to believe that the unique perks of its service — a cloud DVR with no storage limits and six individual users per account — are enough to compensate for the increased price.”
“This is really an adjustment to the market skinny bundle that has evolved and market pricing,” said YouTube TV exec Heather Moosnick of the price increase. “We went out with a ‘skinnier’ bundle than others because we were very sensitive to price — particularly since our goal is to get users who have never subscribed to cable — or who have cut the cord — back to subscribing to live TV.”
“While YouTube won’t confirm the recent reports that its service is trailing Hulu Live TV with just over 300,000 users to Hulu Live’s 450,000, it would say that the majority of YouTube TV subscribers are 35 or under,” reports TechCrunch.
“The majority of users are millennials,” notes Moosnick, “and that makes sense because we’re really building this service for YouTube users, for video streamers, and for this next generation who have decided that they love live TV, but not the way it’s delivered.”
Younger viewers may be attracted to programming from the networks such as TNT and TBS, in addition to sports. “Viewers will be able to watch NBA games, NBA All-Star weekend, NBA Playoff games, MLB Postseason games, the PGA Championship and UEFA soccer,” explains TechCrunch. “And in a few months, YouTube TV will offer the ability to subscribe to NBA League Pass for watching out-of-market live games, as well as the streaming service MLB.TV.”