Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Most popular paid live streaming services

I'll say up front that I don't normally use a paid live TV streaming service. At least, I thought I didn't. Turns out I do.

Recently, a survey by Cord Cutters News revealed that by far, YouTube TV is the paid live TV streaming service that most respondents use, with all the others far behind.

YouTube TV, according to our survey, has more subscribers than Sling TV, Hulu, Philo, and Frndly TV combined.

Here is a breakdown of the live TV streaming services results according to our readers.

  • YouTube TV 27.4%
  • Sling TV 8.7%
  • Hulu with Live TV 7.5%
  • Philo 6.5%
  • Frndly 2.9%
  • Fubo 2.9%

Clearly, YouTube TV is connecting with cord cutters in a way that is helping it stand out. Yet many cord cutters do not subscribe to a live TV streaming service. According to our survey, 41.7% of our readers do not pay for one, which is a slight increase compared to the same period in the fall 2023. This lines up with what the Leichtman Research Group found: almost 7 million Americans canceled a satellite or cable TV service in 2023 but only 1.9 million switched to a live TV streaming service.

Of that number of new subscribers to a live TV streaming service, the majority picked YouTube TV. YouTube TV added 1.9 million subscribers in 2023. Hulu + Live TV added 100,000 and Fubo only added 173,000 subscribers. Sling TV lost subscribers in 2023.

Those services, called vMVPD (virtual multichannel video programming distributors), are essentially streaming cable platforms. I don't use them. Except, I do.

I subscribe to Frndly TV, but it's not exactly the same as YouTube TV, Sling TV, Hulu+Live TV, or DirecTV streaming. Those have local channels -- Sling has some local channels in some markets, while the others have all the major local channels -- while Frndly and Philo do not. But, in reality, Frndly and Philo are otherwise just like those services, except missing local channels, major news services, and major sports networks.

My Streaming Life doesn't use the big services except during college football season. I like Frndly TV because of its family friendly content. But, if  you are a fan of YouTube TV, you are not alone. Not by a long shot.

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