MASTERCLASSING

YouTube and Hulu have taken millions of customers from pay-TV providers

Alyssa Clementi

Hulu and YouTube’s live online TV services are said to have attracted a combined 3m subscribers, according to Bloomberg. Although official numbers are not public, Hulu + Live TV has collected almost 2m subscribers, and YouTube TV well over 1m. Sources say both platforms continue to add hundreds of thousands of new customers each quarter.

The idea of online live TV services has become more and more popular, as conventional TV customers are growing tired of paying for channels they aren’t watching and sitting through commercials. Using 'skinny bundles' offered by multiple companies, customers can pick and choose the channels that are most relevant to them, for a lower monthly fee.

Although Hulu and YouTube aren’t the only providers of online live TV streaming, they are the fastest growing. Veteran service Sling TV, which is owned by Dish Network, debuted well with its initial offering of a few dozen channels, but has now resorted to a 40 per cent discount to attract new customers. Additionally, after raising prices, DirectTV Now saw a 14 per cent drop in customers in the most recent quarter.

For a monthly payment of $44.99, Hulu + Live TV offers subscribers more than 60 channels, including CBS, NBC, and ESPN. Customers also receive full access to Hulu’s on-demand streaming service. Similarly, YouTube TV, owned by Google, charges $40 a month for access to around 60 channels.