Google will announce today that it is expanding the YouTube TV channel lineup by about 20 percent. But it is also raising prices a bit too.
As I write this, Google’s official post revealing the changes isn’t yet available. But here’s what’s happening.
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Google announced its cord-cutting YouTube TV service in March 2017, and the service went live in April with about 40 channels and a monthly cost of $35. But the big limitation at launch was that YouTube TV was only available in the biggest TV markets in the US.
Since then, Google has expanded the service numerous times. It added family-sharing functionality in May 2017, many new markets in July and August 2017. And then it finally came to TVs, with a new client for Xbox One in October 2017, followed more recently by clients for Apple TV, Roku, and other living room set-top boxes; previous to that, YouTube TV users had to navigate the service on their phones and then cast video to their TVs.
I could see early on that YouTube TV would likely emerge as the best cord-cutting service, and when we moved to Pennsylvania in August 2017, I began testing it and other services. Within a month or so, the awkwardness of using YouTube TV via the phone had become problematic, and the service didn’t provide access to HGTV, which my wife and I watch regularly. By October, I realized that the experiment was not working, and we admitted defeat, returning to cable TV.
(Premium members: I will have an update on this situation as soon as today, and coincidental to today’s YouTube TV news.)
But Google moves quickly. And it is improving YouTube TV yet again.
First, they are adding about 10 more channels: CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, TBS, TNT, truTV, and others are available now, according to reports, and others, like MLB Network and NBA TV, are coming soon (though it’s not clear what we get for free and what is a paid add-on).
And the service will soon be available in over 100 markets, a huge increase over last year. New markets include Lexington, Dayton, Honolulu, El Paso, Burlington, Plattsburgh, Richmond, Petersburg, Mobile, Syracuse, Champaign, Springfield, Columbia, Charleston, Harlingen, Wichita, Wilkes-Barre, and Scranton.
In the bad news department, the price of the service is going up, from $35 to $40 per month starting March 13. But it’s not clear if existing subscribers can keep the original price for some time. And the new price is in line with pricing from rival services like PlayStation Vue, which starts at $40 per month.
Worse, HGTV is still not available. How am I going to explain that to my wife?
<p>Ahhh new tech. </p><p><br></p><p>This area (TV over Internet), IOT devices and digital assistants are hot right now. That said they are all in their infancy and A LOT of stuff will rapidly change in the next 3 years and it will be a hectic mess while it is changing.</p><p><br></p><p>Personally I am just going to sit by and let everyone beta test this stuff and bleed on the edge so I can have a nice smooth transition.</p><p><br></p><p>Tomsgide has a good article, from 2/2/18 that compares Hulu Live TV, YouTube TV, DirecTV NOW, Playstation Vue and Sling TV. That said with this Google change it is already out dated and it is only 12 days old. Like I said lots will change and some contenders may even go away.</p><p><br></p><p>Google from a Joe Consumer perspective really needs to get their offerings paired way down. Their music and video offerings are simply way too many and just a mess of apps and services.</p>
<blockquote><a href="#245835"><em>In reply to DataMeister:</em></a></blockquote><p>YouTube</p><p>YouTube Red</p><p>YouTube TV</p><p>YouTube Gaming</p><p>YouTube Music</p><p>Google Play Video</p><p>Google Play Music</p><p><br></p><p>Each with their own app.</p><p><br></p><p>What did I miss? Don't get me started on their messaging clients for Android.</p>
<p>Anyone thinking that subscribing to YouTube TV would mean cheaper prices for a television service than cable or satellite in the long run is pretty much delusional. Anyone thinking that the programmers are going to demand less in programming fees per customer per month from YouTube, Sony, or whatever streaming service than they get from cable and satellite providers are just as delusional. Perhaps the most delusional are the people who subscribe to several ala carte individual streaming services from programmers for the usual $8 per month, which include ads, and sometimes the same amount of ads they would be seeing via cable or satellite. The programmers are going to get the same amount of money out of you whether you subscribe to cable, satellite, or streaming service, you can guarantee that!</p>