Both YouTube and Hulu released so-called ‘skinny bundle’ services last year — in April and May, respectively — and both appear to be making encouraging headway. YouTube TV has amassed 300,000 subscribers to date, CNBC reports, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter, while Hulu Live TV has clocked 450,000.
The digital TV services, which offer an array of live cable channels for monthly subscription fees of $35 and $39.99 per month, respectively, still trail predecessors Sling TV (which launched back in 2015) and DirecTV Now (which launched in late 2016). CNBC notes that Sling TV has more than 2 million subscribers, citing comScore data, while DirecTV Now announced last month that it had surpassed 1 million subscribers.
The fact that Hulu Live TV counts more subscribers than YouTube TV despite launching a month later may be due to the fact that the former is still in the midst off a gradual rollout, and is currently only available in 80% of U.S. households. Hulu Live TV, on the other hand, launched nationwide, even though the four major networks — ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC — weren’t immediately available in every market, Techcrunch notes. Notably, a subscription to YouTube TV includes access to its original YouTube Red programming, while a Hulu Live TV subscription also includes access to its full streaming library.
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Hulu announced earlier this month that its flagship service counts 17 million total subscribers, while YouTube is reportedly looking to integrate more social features — such as a Community tab and in-app messaging — into the YouTube TV app.