Hulu & Sling TV Tightening Grip On The Live TV Streaming Market

Hulu with Live TV and Sling TV are not just leading the live TV streaming service market at the moment, they are owning it.

While some companies are happy to announce their subscriber counts, others are not and so it often comes down to third-party analysis to provide some overview of the segment. The latest of which arrived last week in a new report by eMarketer.

According to the data collected in the report, Sling TV stands at around 2.4 million subscribers. This is just ahead of Hulu at two million.

DIRECTV NOW is listed as 1.5 million, followed by YouTube TV at one million. PlayStation Vue is now understood to be at 0.8 million - half a million ahead of fuboTV.

Generally speaking, most of these figures are in line with what was already thought. For example, Hulu was believed to be at the two million marker after having leapfrogged DIRECTV NOW.

Recently, AT&T admitted to being in a state where it is currently looking to ‘clean up’ its DIRECTV NOW customer base, and so AT&T confirmed a large number of subscribers had left the service during the last few months.

Although these latest figures only seem to reiterate previous reports and numbers, where the data does prove to be even more interesting is in the estimated annual subscription revenue.

According to the report, Hulu with Live TV leads the subscription revenue charge with just under $1.1 billion. This is followed by DIRECTV NOW with $945 million and Sling TV with $871 million.

While it seems DIRECTV NOW is doing better than Sling TV on revenue, that’s only half the picture as Sling TV is a far cheaper proposition and therefore results in less revenue per user to begin with.

Highlighting this point, the data estimates the average monthly spend per user through Sling TV is $30 ($360 per year). This compares to the average monthly spend of $52.50 ($630 per year) for a DIRECTV NOW user.

In spite of the average DIRECTV NOW user paying almost double what the average Sling TV user pays, the data suggests the difference in annual subscription revenue overall between the two services is only around $70 million.

Again, this also highlights how well Hulu is doing at the moment as it is priced in between Sling TV and DIRECTV NOW and is outdoing both on subscription revenue and by a decent margin.

For reference, PlayStation Vue was listed with generating $515 million in subscription revenue, while fuboTV sits in at $198 million.

Although it remains to be seen just how accurate these figures are, they are at least likely to be in the right ballpark and therefore the figures might vary slightly but the same trends will be in effect.

It's worth noting the data collected was not solely focused on the live TV segment, but video streaming services in general.

For example, Netflix with its 60 million subscribers pulled in $7.6 billion in subscription revenue, ahead of Hulu and Amazon who are both hovering around the $2.8 billion mark.

HBO NOW appeared to be a hair under $900 million, while CBS All Access came in at $323 million. SHOWTIME was at $527 million, Starz at $323 million, and YouTube Premium at $215 million.

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About the Author

John Anon

John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]