I’ve not been at all subtle about the fact that I don’t believe in traditional cable-style streaming in an age of on-demand services. However, I know that it’s still a viable option for many, and streaming itself has become the new cable, asking people to pay for something they used to pay to get rid of – advertisements.
Growth in a season of decline
Interestingly, this hasn’t stopped YouTube TV from growing this year, as it’s been revealed the service has increased its subscriber count by 1.4 million people (300,000 of that in Q1 alone)! This plants it at a solid 6.3 million active subscribers for 2023!
According to CordCuttersNews, who first reported on this, YouTube TV’s competitors have been on the decline, and the tech giant is the only one to see growth this year. Hulu with Live TV, for example, lost 100,000 subscribers in just the first quarter of the year, which may paint a clearer picture as to why Disney wants to merge it into Disney Plus.
Similarly, Sling TV lost twice that many subs – 200,000 and FuboTV lost a bit less at 160,000. What I find odd is how Google just raised the price for its TV streaming service by $8 a few months ago and instead of people dropping off, they saw more value in it, apparently.
But something’s backwards here
I miss the days when you’d pay to get rid of ads instead of paying to consume them – the days when streaming services were still starting out and doing everything they could to fight for the consumer’s wallet instead of copying each other and racing to the bottom for quality and to the top for price. I feel like one of the only people who things it’s incredibly backward.
I get that content partners are putting the chokehold on YouTube TV and its competitors, but we’re the ones that lose in the end and end up eating the additional cost. Let me know in the comments – do you feel YouTube TV is a great value despite these problems, or are you simply settling because it’s the best there is, even though it’s charging more and offering an inconsistent value?
Maybe it’s just my perspective
When does the price hiking, and content cutting stop? When do we say “no more” and “my wallet can’t handle this anymore”? How long until YouTube TV is the same price and value as traditional cable TV that it was created to compete against? I know these views will garner a lot of backlash, especially as it’s still cheaper than the alternatives, but I feel the need to state my observations regardless.
At the end of the day, it’s great to see something Google is doing grow instead of shrink or get killed off entirely. If only Stadia got the same love and attention, it would probably still be around today. Maybe I’m just spoiled because I indulged entirely in the earliest days of streaming before it got its legs and its identity, so I’m less willing to accept these wild sweeping changes. I also get most of my entertainment from YouTube Premium, and a bit of Netflix – sue me.
I’m so much more of an on-demand type of guy – I spent all of the 90s and early 2000s settling for waiting for episodes that showed on a pre-programmed schedule to see them. If any other millennials in the room want to speak up, let me know – doesn’t it bother you to have a little bit of everything to watch out of order and not a complete catalog right when you ask for it? Doesn’t it bother you to pay over seventy bucks and still have to deal with intrusive ads? Sound off!