YouTube TV surpasses 5 million users

YouTube TV has surpassed the 5 million user mark, pushing ahead of other virtual MVPDs like Hulu+Live TV.

Google’s YouTube announced the milestone on Tuesday, which notably includes both paid subscribers and those trialing the service as of June. The company didn’t disclose how many of the 5 million are non-paying trial customers.

YouTube TV’s base plan usually costs about $65 per month.

Reaching 5 million accounts comes as YouTube TV celebrates five years of service. Google parent Alphabet doesn’t usually disclose quarterly subscriber metrics for the live TV streaming platform, though in October 2020 said YouTube TV had amassed 3 million paid subscribers as of the third quarter. A more recent tally stood around 4 million subscribers as of fall 2021, based on estimates from MoffettNathanson.

That figure outpaced Hulu+Live TV at the time with a subscriber count around 3.7 million, making YouTube TV the largest vMVPD in the U.S. The new figure from Google looks to push YouTube TV past Hulu’s live streaming TV option yet again, with Disney reporting 4.1 million subscribers for Hulu Live TV + SVOD at the end of the first quarter of 2022. Disney reports its most recent quarterly results on August 10.

A new Q1 2022 cord cutting report from MoffettNathanson estimates that YouTube TV gained 300,000 net additions in the first three months of this year, while Hulu Live lost an estimated 200,000 net subscribers.

YouTube TV now offers more than 100 channels, unlimited cloud DVR and in May launched Spanish-language plan options.

In a blog disclosing the subscriber count, Christian Oestlien, VP of product management for YouTube TV and Connected TV, shared some fun facts about the streaming service – including initial plans that would’ve seen a different name for the vMVPD.

“When YouTube TV started out, a group of engineers climbed onto the roof of YouTube headquarters while holding an antenna in order to build a prototype,” wrote Oestlien. “Based on this experience, we almost settled on calling the YouTube TV you know and love today as ‘YouTube Air’.”

The blog also outlined what shows are reeling in viewers, with the following programs ranked as the current top five most DVR’d shows across YouTube TV viewers: Yellowstone, Saturday Night Live, This is Us, 60 Minutes, and Grey’s Anatomy.

Earlier this year, YouTube’s chief product officer Neal Mohan disclosed plans to launch a redesign for YouTube TV in 2022 to streamline the user interface, including updates to Library and Live.

Updated with Q1 2022 subscriber addition estimates from MoffettNathanson.