By: Nick Gambino
YouTube TV emerged as a live streaming TV option a few years back as yet another service available in the sea of subscription-based plans vying for our attention. Whether it has captured any significant part of the live TV streaming market is up for debate, but a new price hike might endanger what little foothold they do have.
The live TV subscription is jumping from $49.99 a month to $64.99. This will go into effect immediately for any new subscribers, while those with an existing subscription will see it on the next billing cycle.
This either is or isn’t surprising depending on how you look at it. The service was only $35 a month when it first launched but saw regular price hikes starting in 2018 all the way up until this most recent announcement.
This newest $15 increase seems to be attributed to the addition of new channels including BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, TV Land and more. This is also confirmed by the fact that in the past they’ve raised the price when they’ve added new channels. That reasoning is also reflected in a blog post posted by YouTube.
“We don’t take these decisions lightly, and realize how hard this is for our members,” the blog post announcing the price hike says. “That said, this new price reflects the rising cost of content and we also believe it reflects the complete value of YouTube TV, from our breadth of content to the features that are changing how we watch Live TV.”
In trying economic times, it’s probably not the smartest move to raise prices on users who are already dealing with the uncertainty of their own financial future. I’m sure they are raising it for a valid reason, but if you’re going to raise it every time you add a few channels, you’re going to start losing customers.
Live TV streaming services like YouTube TV, Hulu Live and AT&T TV have been a more affordable option to traditional cable. With rising prices, that appeal starts to lose its luster and threatens their very existence by making us question why they even exist.
Let’s just hope when they add additional channels like BET Her, MTV2 and TeenNick, as promised, they aren’t accompanied by yet another jump in price.