YouTube TV will increase its subscription pricing for new and existing members by roughly 1/3 beginning in August 2020, the company announced today. The service, which currently costs $49.99 per month, will increase to $64.99 with the August 1 billing date, with the company saying that the increasing cost of content was to blame. The move comes as the company adds 8 new ViacomCBS-affiliated channels to the platform. ViacomCBS, who also own ComicBook.com, has a family of channels which includes BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, TV Land, and VH1. The move comes as a new chapter in the streaming wars heats up, with HBO Max and Disney+ already online and Peacock in the on-deck circle.
YouTube TV is offering users a chance ot pause their subscriptions by going into their account settings, with all of their current DVR recordings saved. With a wealth of new, free content coming from Peacock soon and nothing new on broadcast TV for a while due to the pandemic shutdown, doing so might be a popular choice.
"We don't make these decisions lightly, and we realize how hard this may be for our members," the company said in their email. "This new price reflects the rising costs of content, and we also believe it reflects the complete value of YouTube TV. In addition to the 85+ live channels, YouTube TV is the only streaming service that includes a DVR with unlimited storage space (with content saved for 9 months), plus 6 accounts per household, each with its own unique recommendations, and 3 concurrent streams."
YouTube TV is, along with Sling and Hulu Live TV, one of a number of streaming video on demand services aimed at helping consumers break up with their cable companies by offering materially the same services at a discounted price. In many markets, customers will be limited to the one service that actually has the channels they want, since the individual licensing deals signed by networks and network families are far from uniform from provider to provider.
YouTube TV was founded three years ago and is part of a family of YouTube-branded services that Google offers, including a Premium version of the app that allows users to save YouTube videos for offline viewing as well as ad-free content from YouTube and a number of their streaming video on demand partners.