Q. So tell me, Mr. Answer Man, why on earth did YouTube TV raised their price. I only subscribed because it was lower than the cable guy. What are they thinking??!! — Carmen, Marina Del Rey.
Carmen, I feel your pain. But the reason that YouTube TV yesterday raised its monthly subscription price from $50 to $65 is obvious. Like the ‘cable guys,’ YouTube TV must pay programmers for the right to carry their channels. And those programmers are constantly raising their carriage fees, which is why the cable and satellite guys, and now YouTube TV, must raise their subscription prices as well.
I won’t say the programmers are at fault; they need to charge higher fees to offset the cost of producing more, and better, shows in an increasingly competitive environment. But it is what it is. Pay TV services, whether it’s cable or streaming, have to pay to carry channels and the fees have become astronomical.
Of course, for customers like yourself, this still might not make sense. YouTube TV, and other live streaming services, have generated millions of subscribers in the last few years thanks in part to significantly lower prices. But that couldn’t be sustained. In fact, FuboTV this morning just raised its monthly price by $5 as well. So it’s not just YouTube TV.
However, the outpouring of opposition to YouTube TV’s price hike may be unprecedented. Social media sites are overflowing today with angry and sometimes obscene comments about the increase with many sharply criticizing YouTube TV’s decision to add 14 Viacom/CBS channels.
The live streamer’s decision to raise prices during a pandemic seems to have especially hit a nerve.
If I wanted these channels during a pandemic while my wife is out of work and I've taken a pay cut, I'd have just stuck with cable, started doing meth, and make all kinds of other terrible decisions.
— P R (@ISE_Wolf) July 1, 2020
I would fire the product manager and attorney(s) at @YouTubeTV who thought they negotiated a great deal with Viacom. Viacom dudes are now snickering and high five'ing while YTV is stuck with a smelly bag on their front porch. What were you thinking?
— Chris Carlisle (@lunerfaze) July 1, 2020
Hello! YouTubeTV "execs," anybody home? Read your room. YTTV made a big mistake. If you don't listen, and you apparently are not, you will soon discover what happens when you are out of touch with your customers.
— Mike Snyder (@anchormanmike) July 1, 2020
.@YouTubeTV we only signed up to be able to watch local news/weather during major events. Literally everything else we watch is available for far, far less (or free) on other platforms.
Would YOU pay $65/month just to watch your local news?
— Tab Combs (@DrTCombs) July 1, 2020
And so it goes. You can find hundreds more like that today on Twitter and Facebook, and other social media sites.
It remains to be seen how much the price increase will hurt YouTube TV’s subscription effort. If other streaming rivals also raise prices (as Fubo just did), perhaps the impact will be slight.
But it could also be the trigger to send some subscribers either back to the ‘cable guy’ or a slim diet of Netflix and another subscription VOD streamer, such as Disney Plus or Amazon Prime.
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