YouTube TV Passes 5 Million Subscriber Mark, Including Free Trials, Five Years After Launch

A little more than five years after its debut, YouTube TV has reached 5 million subscribers and free trial users.

YouTube TV is undoubtedly the largest internet pay-TV provider as well as the fifth-largest TV distributor overall in the United States, even if the real paid subscriber count is somewhat less than 5 million after subtracting the trials. Only Comcast, Charter, DirecTV, and Dish Network are ahead of it. Disney reported in its most recent quarterly report that 4.1 million people had signed up for its streaming subscription package Hulu + Live TV.

In reference to their initial value proposition of providing a slimmer assortment of channels at a cheaper price point and the ability to let clients connect and disconnect with a touch of a mobile phone, internet TV packagers that first appeared in the 2010s were known as “thin bundles.” As their programming expenses eventually escalated over time, so did their client prices, and they ran into conflict during carriage negotiations. Due to a disagreement over carriage fees, regional sports networks, for instance, have only seldom been included in streaming bundles.

While early streaming package players like PlayStation Vue and DirecTV Now either went out of business or changed their services, YouTube and Hulu have built supremacy in the market over the past five years. They together control nearly two-thirds of all streaming TV bundle households in the United States, which accounts for 10% to 15% of the total pay-TV market.

According to Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer of YouTube, “We established YouTube TV five years ago to rethink how we watch live TV, provide consumers more choice, and open a new revenue source for our partners.” This accomplishment is a credit to the team’s incredible work in creating a first-rate experience.


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The purpose of bringing the package to market, according to Christian Oestlien, VP of Product Management for YouTube TV and Connected TV, was to “make viewing TV even more delightful – including a modern product experience without all the commitments, equipment fees, and trouble.”

Oestlien provided some platform statistics, including the top five shows that were most frequently recorded. Yellowstone, Saturday Night Live, This is Us, 60 Minutes, and Grey’s Anatomy are listed in that order.

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