YouTube CEO Neal Mohan has announced that YouTube TV, the streaming service which offers a bundle of channels similar to conventional pay TV, has surpassed 8 million subscribers, positioning it as the fourth-largest pay-TV service in the United States.
With this achievement, YouTube TV trails behind Charter, and Comcast, both of which have 14.1 million subscribers, and DirecTV which hovers around 11 million subscribers.
YouTube TV reported having 5 million customers in 2022, its current subscriber count of 8 million indicates substantial growth for the service. Last fall, the service offered the NFL’s Sunday Ticket service as an add-on to its basic channel package, which likely caused the boost in subscription rates.
YouTube’s successful entry into the mainstream pay-TV market means parent company, Google’s efforts to penetrate the television landscape have paid off. Google’s previous endeavours to enter the TV ad market and develop its TV operating system ultimately led to the decision to offer a bundled TV channel service in 2017, a strategy that has steadily propelled YouTube TV’s growth since then.
Furthermore, YouTube TV’s expansion coincides with the decline of traditional pay-TV services, driven by cord-cutting trends and shifts in consumer preferences. As more viewers opt for streaming services over traditional cable or satellite subscriptions, companies like Comcast have shifted their focus to broadband services, recognising their profitability and widespread demand.
Despite the shrinking traditional pay-TV market, Google has remained committed to expanding YouTube TV, evident in its recent $2 billion-a-year deal to offer NFL games. This indicates Google’s belief in the continued relevance and profitability of the pay-TV industry, despite evolving consumer habits.