Recently, a growing number of social media and video streaming behemoths have reduced their reliance on advertising and introduced or hiked subscription charges. In exchange for seamless, ad-free access to their favourite movies and TV shows, consumers are also not reluctant to pay money to these companies. Alphabet-owned Google has recently announced a price hike for its YouTube TV subscription, from $64.99 to $72.99.
New YouTube TV subscribers will see the new price starting today, while existing subscribers will see the price change starting on April 18.
YouTube TV has topped 5 million paid and trial members since its debut in 2017, according to Neal Mohan, YouTube’s Chief Product Officer, in July 2022.
YouTube TV subscription: From 2017 to 2023
Google’s YouTube TV serves as a substitute for cable. The subscription-based streaming service gives users access to more than 100 live TV channels, including news and sports, as well as on-demand TV channels where they can watch movies, TV and games shows. All you need is a fast internet connection.
Yesterday on March 16, Google sent an email to all YouTube TV subscribers, informing them about this new $8/per month price increase. The primary reason for increasing YouTube TV membership cost is the rising cost of content on the platform.
“As content costs have risen and we continue to invest in the quality of our service, we are updating our price to keep bringing you the best possible service,” the company said in the email to subscribers.
It is important to note that if you have an HBO Max add-on to your YouTube TV subscription, you will have to pay an additional $16 per month, bringing your monthly YouTube TV subscription cost to $89. Therefore, to soften this blow, Google will soon lower the monthly cost of its higher-resolution 4K Plus add-on from $19.99 to $9.99.
YouTube TV service was launched in 2017 at $35 per month. Since then, Google has raised its YouTube TV subscription charges to $40/month in March 2018, to $50/month in April 2019, and to $65/month in June 2020.
What are rivals doing?
Netflix, the world’s largest video-streaming company, has been experimenting with its subscription fees in response to local demand. In February 2023, the OTT giant lowered its subscription cost in more than 30 countries in an effort to gain more customers.
In contrast, streaming platforms such as Hulu, ESPN+ and Disney+ raised their subscription charges in late 2022.
If we do a comparison, YouTube TV is now more expensive than Hulu’s $69.99 a month ad-supported Live TV tier, which includes ad-free Disney+ and ESPN+ with ads.
In a nutshell
The rising subscription cost of YouTube TV suggests that streaming content will soon be more expensive than cable.
The world has seen the exploded adoption of smartphones and the Internet during the Covid-19 pandemic. People are now spending more time and money than ever on streaming content. Therefore, all over-the-top giants are leaving no stone unturned to gain a sizable share of the fastest-growing market.
In March 2023, YouTube launched Multiview, a new feature that will let YouTube TV subscribers watch up to four streams concurrently on-screen.