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Friday, July 3, 2020

YouTube TV sharply increases monthly subscription to $64.99

YouTube TV is raising its monthly cost for all users to $64.99, the biggest price increase yet for the service. It’ll also be adding eight new ViacomCBS channels, which are available starting today.
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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Vergenone

YouTube TV has announced that it’ll be raising its monthly price from $50 per month to $64.99 as the company starts to offer eight of ViacomCBS’s channels, which are available today: BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, TV Land, and VH1.

The new price takes effect today for any new subscribers, while existing customers should see it on their next billing cycle (either on or after July 30th).

The $15 increase in price marks the latest price hike for YouTube TV, which was $35 per month when it originally launched. The price was first raised to $40 per month in early 2018 as it added Turner networks (including TBS, TNT, CNN, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, truTV, and Turner Classic Movies). Costs went up again in 2019 to $50 per month when YouTube TV added Discovery’s lineup of networks. And now, with the addition of the aforementioned ViacomCBS channels, it’s getting its biggest price leap yet, up to $64.99 per month.

Per the original announcement of the new channels, YouTube TV is also slated to get BET Her, MTV2, Nick Jr., NickToons, TeenNick, and MTV Classic in the future, although they’re not part of today’s launch.

In a blog post announcing the new price and channels, YouTube’s VP of product management Christian Oestlien sympathizes that the increased cost is difficult for some of its members, but that the “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.”

We at YouTube TV license content from our content providers to then provide to you. When content prices increase, the overall cost of streaming goes up for everyone.

— YouTube TV (@YouTubeTV) June 30, 2020

For comparison, Hulu’s Live TV plan costs $54.99 (a price that includes access to Hulu’s library of content, but lacks the unlimited DVR storage that YouTube TV offers), AT&T TV starts at $55 per month (with hefty increases after 12 months), and Sling TV’s full plan costs $45 per month. While there may be some concerns that YouTube TV is edging closer to the cost of actual cable, there are some advantages to Google’s over-the-top service, including easy access from nearly any device with an internet connection, a lower barrier to entry when it comes to additional hardware, and a much better UI than nearly any cable set-top box.

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