Hulu is now the most popular streaming live TV service in the US, after Sling TV announced that it lost 94,000 subscribers last quarter, dipping below three million users. While Hulu announced that after the last quarter, it now has 3.4 million subscribers.
Sling TV has 2.59 million subscribers according to Dish Network. The next closest competitor is YouTube TV at around two million. Now, Google doesn't release specific numbers for YouTube TV, so it's pretty difficult to tell how many subscribers YouTube TV actually has. This is more of an estimate.
Hulu Live TV is continuing to grow even with price hikes
Hulu Live TV hiked prices late last year, in December. But because it was so late in the quarter, it's unlikely that the price hike had any real impact on the numbers it reported for the quarter. Though it is also possible that it could lose some subscribers in the first quarter of this year due to those price hikes.
Hulu has done a great job at marketing its Live TV service. With plenty of commercials and even getting Tom Brady to do a big time Super Bowl commercial for it earlier this month. And the fact that it has Hulu's extensive on-demand library available as well, is another big feature for the service.
On top of that, Hulu Live TV is also still working hard to ink deals with regional sports networks, like Chicago's Marquee, which was announced on Monday. So Cubs and White Sox fans can watch baseball on Hulu Live TV this summer.
Sling's drop shows that customers don't just care about price
Sling TV is the cheapest streaming live TV service around. It starts at just $20 per month. That's pretty inexpensive when you compare it to YouTube TV and Hulu Live TV which are $50 or more. But with that cheaper price comes some corner cutting. Like the fact that Sling TV has very few local channels. Instead, Sling TV wants you to get an antenna to get those OTA channels. It also has add-on packs that will allow you to get more channels that you might like.
In theory, the a la carte approach is pretty good. Only getting the channels you want, sort of. But if you need some sports and some news channels, then it can very quickly get up to $50 per month. And at that rate, it is still cheaper to go with YouTube TV or Hulu Live TV.
It's unclear whether Dish is going to look to revamp Sling TV or not, it's still very proud of what it has built with Sling.