YouTube TV says it has 5 million streaming customers

The logo of YouTube TV. (Logo: Google/Image: The Desk)

YouTube TV says it has 5 million customers who are either paying $65 a month for access to more than 80 local and cable networks or enjoying a free trial of its streaming service.

The announcement, which was made in a blog post on Tuesday, was the first update offering information about YouTube TV’s subscriber count in nearly two years. It did not say how many of those 5 million customers were actually paying full price for the service versus a free or discounted trial.

YouTube TV says it now offers more than 100 linear channels of content, though around 80 of those are in its base programming package. The other 20 include premium movie networks, add-on sports and entertainment programming and Spanish-language channels that are available for separate fees.

Assuming the majority of YouTube TV’s subscribers are on a full subscription plan, the streaming pay TV service would be one of the biggest by customer count in the United States. Hulu with Live TV, which is operated by the Walt Disney Company, recently said it had around 4.1 million paying subscribers to its service, which includes access to the ad-supported tier of its on-demand streaming service.

Owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, YouTube TV launched in 2017 at a cost of $35 a month. For that price, customers in most areas received access to their local ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox broadcast stations as well as cable networks owned or operated by Comcast (E, Bravo, MSNBC), Fox Corporation (FS1, FS2, Fox News, Fox Business) and the Walt Disney Company (ESPN, Freeform, Disney Channel, FX, FXX, National Geographic).

Channels from AMC Networks, Paramount Global and Warner Bros Discovery later joined the line-up, and customers saw a steady price increase accordingly. Today, the service costs $65 a month and comes bundled with an unlimited, cloud-based DVR that stores shows and movies for nine months after they air on television along with an on-demand video catalog from networks offered by the streaming service.