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At the latest count, Hulu Live TV had 3.4 million subscribers, further cementing its position as one of the most popular live TV streaming services in the US. This is in spite of Hulu launching its ‘live TV’ service some time after many of the other major streaming services.
Although Hulu is a well-known and popular subscription video service, it wasn’t until 2017 when the brand announced the launch of its live TV arm. At the time, the service arrived priced at just $39.99 in the US. Since then, it has encountered more than one price rise with the current monthly subscription cost coming in at $54.99. However, and unlike some of the competition, Hulu Live TV’s subscriber base has not been too affected by the price hikes.
As part of its latest quarterly earnings report, Disney confirmed that by the end of June 2020, Hulu Live TV had 3.4 million subscribers. Adding to this, Disney also confirmed that the quarter closed with 32.1 million SVOD customers. When taken together, Hulu’s subscription and live TV services cater to 35.5 million subscribers.
Hulu aside, Disney additionally confirmed its third quarter ended with 8.5 million ESPN+ subscribers, and 57.5 million Disney+ subscribers.
Hulu’s live TV continues to prove popular
While Hulu Live TV has jumped in price from $40 to $55 over the last couple of years, it is not alone in raising prices. Pretty much every other live TV streaming service has also increased in price, and for some, the hikes have been so great that it has forced or at least, strongly encouraged, subscribers to look elsewhere. The most obvious example of this is AT&T TV NOW which has continually saw its subscriber base decline quarter after quarter, including the most recent quarter.
In Hulu’s case, however, there’s no clear evidence that subscribers are too unhappy with the overall cost. For example, by the close of the second quarter in 2019, Hulu Live TV had accumulated 2.2 million subscribers. Therefore, in spite of the year when the price of a subscription hit an all-time high for Hulu customers, it has still managed to grow its subscriber base, and a healthy level of growth at that.
Again, the state of the market in general is likely to be one of the reasons why Hulu has managed to maintain, and grow, its subscriber base. For example, with an AT&T TV NOW exodus having taken place, and PlayStation Vue a distant memory, YouTube TV is the closest comparable service. In fact, like Hulu, YouTube TV had also seen a good year where its subscriber base was also growing at a healthy rate.
However, YouTube is one of the latest to have implemented a price increase, and the rise to $65 was not only dramatically high, compared to the overall cost, but resulted in YouTube TV becoming a far more expensive option compared to Hulu Live TV. Furthermore, that’s without taking into consideration that a Hulu Live TV subscription also includes full access to the standard Hulu SVOD subscription as well.
It is worth noting that there did appear to be some slowdown for Hulu considering that at the end of the previous quarter, Disney confirmed 3.3 million Hulu Live TV subscribers. While still a quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year increase, it is less of an increase than in most previous quarters.