Appointment television viewing may not be dead after all if there’s live content being produced that’s compelling enough — and if it’s available to where the user is. In any case, it seems that YouTube TV and Hulu with Live TV have garnered some appeal, earning a combined 750,000 subscribers in the first several months of operations.
More specifically, Google’s product, which has been out since April and has recently expanded to 80 local TV markets, has been recorded with just over 300,000 subscribers. Hulu, owned by a consortium of the major US broadcast networks, has 450,000 non-promotional subscribers to its Live TV plan which began in May. Both figures are not public, but were given to CNBC from sources.
Analysts, like BTIG’s Rich Greenfield, say that web-based services will have trouble competing with the sheer content that Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are putting out and will have higher cancellation rates than services linked up with traditional providers such as DIRECTV and Dish just because the process takes “four clicks.”
“If you don’t care about live sports, the original Hulu product is awesome. You can get all of the programming you want for more than $30 less,” Greenfield told CNBC. “And YouTube is free. It actually shows you how poor the value proportion is for live TV.”
YouTube TV costs $35 per month while Hulu with Live TV is $39.99 monthly.