Google is raising prices on YouTube TV, its premium television streaming service. Starting today, new customers on the base plan — which includes six accounts per household (each with a limitless cloud DVR) and three concurrent streams — will pay $50 per month (or $55 for members billed through Apple’s iTunes), up from the previous $40 per month (which was a hike from the launch price of $35). Existing subscribers will see the change after May 13.
With the price hike, YouTube TV becomes one of the streaming TV market’s more expensive offerings. Hulu with Live TV (which includes two simultaneous streams) starts at $45 per month, while DirecTV Now costs $50 (for two streams) and PlayStation Vue is $45 (for five streams). Dish Network’s Sling TV remains the least expensive at $25, but it’s also the most barebones — the base tier (Orange) only supports one simultaneous stream.
Google will no doubt argue that it offers more channels than most of its competitors, and it’s tough to argue otherwise. Compared with Hulu, DirectTV Now, PlayStation Vue, and Sling TV, which have between 29 and 70 networks, YouTube TV now has over 70. That’s thanks to the addition today of Epix (for an additional charge) and Discovery network brands, including Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, and MotorTrend, plus the Oprah Winfrey Network (which will join the lineup later this year).
In fact, YouTube says that it now provides local feeds from all of the four largest broadcasters in over 90 percent of the markets where YouTube TV is available, and three of four stations in all the rest.
“Two years ago, we launched YouTube TV to bring the best of live TV, delivered the way you want,” said YouTube TV vice president of product management Christian Oestlien. “We expanded nationwide, added [more than 10] new channels, improved our DVR and launched new features to take your viewing experience to the next level … Since then, we’ve been working to build a package that fits your needs.”
YouTube TV debuted with 40 networks in early 2017. Back then, it was available through mobile apps in five markets, and later came to platforms like Android TV, Xbox, Apple TV, and Roku, expanding to 100 U.S. markets covering 85 percent of households. In January, it landed in an additional 95 markets, extending coverage to 98 percent of households.