Hulu & YouTube Tipped To Win The Live TV Streaming War

Hulu and YouTube are now being tipped to emerge as the winners in the battle for your live TV streaming subscription.

The information on this comes from a new BI report which in turn credits reports and analysis from UBS and Credit Suisse.

Essentially, UBS expects that by 2022 Hulu will be the leading force overall thanks to a tidy 35-percent live TV streaming market share. Although in second place, YouTube will be some way behind with a 21-percent market share by the same time.

Credit Suisse largely came to the same conclusion although with the added expectation that Hulu and its + live TV service will assume the top position by the end of this year. Also by this time, YouTube TV will have overtaken DIRECTV NOW.

As far as industry analyst predictions go, these are not exactly wild predictions as the shape of the live TV streaming market has been changing rapidly and especially in 2019 with all indications pointing to this outcome.

Prior to this year, Dish Network’s Sling TV and AT&T’s DIRECTV NOW held the top two positions, respectively. However, in the last six months alone their stranglehold at the top has weakened and this has been particularly evident with DIRECTV NOW.

Since the final quarter of 2018 DIRECTV NOW has lost almost 20-percent of its subscriber base. This dramatic subscriber decline has come at a time when Hulu and YouTube have seen substantial gains.

Sling TV has not experienced the same issue with no net subscriber losses during the same period. However, Sling TV has not gained many subscribers either and therefore has appeared fairly flat in terms of subscriber growth during 2019.

According to the latest predictions that is likely to change in the coming years as UBS predicts that by 2022 Sling TV’s market share will have cut in half - bringing its then share down to 14-percent.

The way the market has panned out so far this year, the result has been DIRECTV NOW is understood to have already slipped down into the third spot with Hulu now sitting pretty in second - based on the number of subscribers.

In addition, with Hulu closing in fast on Sling TV’s position, YouTube TV is slowly creeping up on DIRECTV NOW with the difference between the two currently thought to be around 300,000 subscribers.

AT&T is acutely aware of its subscriber drop and has insisted that this is an orchestrated attempt to get the service’s house in order. In other words, AT&T has said it is currently in the process of a “customer cleanup” to remove low-ARPU customers and thereby allowing the service to focus more on “high-quality customers” going forward.

Due to this, AT&T has stated it expects to see more subscriber decline throughout the majority of 2019.

The suggestion YouTube TV will move up into the third spot by the end of this year is largely what the market now overall expects, and that's also true with Hulu overtaking Sling TV. That is, unless Sling TV can find a way within the next few months to kick-start its growth once again.

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John Anon

Editor-in-Chief
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]