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Hulu Live TV and YouTube TV dominated the fourth quarter, based on the latest industry predictions. The suggestion is, Hulu and YouTube’s continued rise in the live TV sector will have buoyed the losses accumulated by traditional pay-TV services.
AT&T announced its fourth quarter results last week, confirming overall TV subscriber losses of close to one million (including an AT&T TV NOW subscriber decline of 219,000). This was only the latest subscriber drop the company has encountered with AT&T, and other traditional TV providers seeing quarter after quarter subscriber losses in recent years.
In contrast, the live TV streaming market continues to see gains and leading the charge appears to be Hulu Live TV and YouTube TV. While neither release actual firm numbers, both services are expected to have seen major growth throughout 2019. Now, Michael Nathanson of MoffettNathanson suggests Q4 continued this trend. In fact, Michael Nathanson states the two live TV streaming services “crushed it” during the fourth quarter of 2019.
Hulu and YouTube continue rising to the top
Again, while exact numbers are not released by either Hulu or YouTube, all indications point to the momentum being with these two services. In Hulu’s case, many analysts now suspect Hulu Live TV has overtaken Sling TV to become the most subscribed to live TV streaming service in the U.S.
By all accounts, Sling TV had a stagnant year which saw very little growth in the first half although the third quarter did see the low-cost service bounce back strongly. Dish will release its next quarter results later this month at which point Sling TV subscriber numbers for the fourth quarter will be confirmed. In turn, this will highlight whether the bounce Sling experienced in the third quarter was temporary or a sign of sustained (and significant) subscriber growth.
As for YouTube TV, most predict that although the growth has not been quite as virgrant as Hulu live, it has been sufficient enough to see the service rise into third place in the U.S., overtaking AT&T TV NOW. Based on this latest prediction, that trend continued throughout 2019 with YouTube TV closing out the year with equally impressive growth.
Both Hulu live and YouTube TV are likely to have benefited from the recent closure of PlayStation Vue. YouTube TV is also likely to continue benefiting from PlayStation Vue in the current quarter, considering it has become the default replacement for Sony’s live TV streaming service.