YouTube TV is now going nationwide.
The announcement was made today via a YouTube blog posting that confirmed the live TV streaming service is now reaching places in the US it had not been able to reach before.
YouTube did not explicitly state which new areas the service is becoming available in although that is likely due to the sheer number – 95 additional markets as now gaining access to the service.
This availability increase, combined with the existing supported-markets, means YouTube TV now accounts for “over 98-percent of households in the United States,” according to the company.
Although 98-percent is not quite 100-percentage, YouTube added “the remainder will follow shortly thereafter.”
This marks a significant milestone for the YouTube-branded live TV service as one of its biggest shortcomings to date has been availability. When the service first launched in 2017 it did so in beta and was only made available in a handful of markets.
Over the course of those two years the availability has expanded slowly with YouTube routinely announcing support for new markets. Today’s announcement marks one of the bigger market expansions as YouTube TV pushes over the line into what is in effect, nationwide coverage.
Following today’s news, consumers in any of those newly-supported markets suddenly have a new live TV streaming option to consider.
In many ways, YouTube TV is very similar to the rest of the competition as it offers access to a wide selection of channels and networks in return for a monthly cost that’s typically cheaper than opting for a comparable cable plan.
In YouTube TV’s case, the cost is currently $39.99 per month for access to over 60 networks.
Unlike other options, however, YouTube TV has made a giant push toward offering enhanced and/or cloud-based features bundled in the price as an extra means to attract buyers. These include unlimited cloud DVR where users are able to record as much content as they want and access that content from most devices, including smartphones.
User accounts is another of the major enhanced features as YouTube TV allows each account to add up to five members (six in total) with each member gaining access to the service at a personalized level.
The timing of this announcement might prove to be convenient for a number of consumers as Hulu today announced it was upping the price of its live TV service to $44.99 per month. This represents a $5 increased compared to before and $5 more than what YouTube TV charges.
Hulu also announced it was decreasing the cost of its standard, ad-supported on-demand plan to $5.99 per month. Access to this on-demand content is available through Hulu’s live TV plan but with the two price changes in effect, users could in principle switch from Hulu’s live TV solution to YouTube TV’s and still subscribe to the standard Hulu ad-supported on-demand service and only pay $1 more than what Hulu will be charging following the price increase. An approach which might offer consumers the best of both worlds.
YouTube TV has always made a big play for sports and does offer a decent level of access to sports-focused channels and networks. This was not lost during the latest announcement with YouTube making the point that this major expansion comes in time for the Super Bowl – due to take place on February 3, 2019. The Super Bowl will be available to watch with an active YouTube TV subscription.