When YouTube TV launched at a price of $35/month, it was seen as a breath of fresh air in the streaming TV market. The service offers live programming (including local network channels) that can be streamed from just about any device, and includes Cloud DVR functionality.
However, the $35 monthly price rose to $40 in March 2018, and now Google is instituting another price increase for YouTube TV. Effective immediately for new customers, YouTube TV subscriptions will cost $50 per month. A $15/month increase in two years sounds like something that we’re used to from Big Cable, and not more lithe competitors in the streaming world, but here we are.
And we’ve got even more bad news; while the previous increase from $35/month to $40/month allowed existing users to be grandfathered in at the lower rate, there are no such provisions this time around. Everyone will pay the higher rate once their billing cycle renews (starting May 13th).
If you’re an Apple user that subscribes to YouTube TV through the App Store, you’re looking at an even higher monthly outlay of $55/month. This seems like a way for Google to recoup the cut that Apple takes from subscription sales.
Google is hoping to soften the blow by announcing that it is adding over 10 new channels to the service including Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, and MotorTrend. That’s definitely good news for people that enjoy those channels, but for YouTube TV subscribers that have been able to skate by without those networks for two years, it might not be worth the added cost.
Despite the price increase, Google still sees YouTube TV as one of the premier offerings in the streaming TV market with an abundance of perks for subscribers. “In keeping with our goal of giving you the content you want—when you want it—YouTube TV now includes 70+ networks, 6 accounts per household (each with its own unique recommendations and cloud DVR with no storage space limits), and 3 concurrent streams,” writes Christian Oestlien, Vice President of Product Management for YouTube TV.
“We also provide complete local affiliate coverage, with local feeds from all of the four largest broadcasters in over 90% of the markets where YouTube TV is available, and three of four stations in all the rest.”
With cord cutting becoming more popular than ever, we probably shouldn’t be too surprised to see prices increasing across the board. AT&T has come under fire for similar practices after it promised not to raise DirecTV Now prices. However, at this rate, the cost of a broadband internet connection plus various streaming services must be getting perilously close to that of bundled cable TV packages that many of us have lambasted in the past.