YouTube TV is raising its monthly base price to $72.99 from $64.99, its first price hike in three years but a sign of the times for the growing internet pay-TV bundle sector.
The increase, which subscribers learned about in a letter Thursday, will take effect during the first billing cycle on or after April 18.
“As content costs have risen and we continue to invest in the quality of our service,” the letter said, “we are updating our price to keep bringing you the best possible service.”
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Along with the base package rate hike, YouTube TV is also lowering the cost of its 4K Plus add-on to $9.99 a month from $19.99.
YouTube parent company Alphabet last summer said YouTube TV had passed 5 million subscribers. Since launching at $35 a month in 2017, the service has more than doubled in price. The company does not provide quarterly subscriber updates, unlike Hulu + Live TV owner Disney, which reported 4.5 million subscribers as of the end of 2022. Along with Hulu and YouTube, other streaming bundle providers include Dish Network’s Sling TV and FuboTV, which have 2.3 million and 1.4 million subscribers, respectively.
The virtual bundle space has grown in fits and starts over the better part of the past decade as consumers have increasingly cut or shaved the cord when it comes to traditional cable or satellite TV service. The initial appeal of these internet-delivered packages — initially nicknamed “skinny bundles” — was that they were cheaper than conventional pay-TV, and also required no equipment and could be turned on and off easily. While the logistics and technology have remained intact, prices have risen significantly, reflecting fee increases from programmers.
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