YouTube TV has seen its share of price increases since it launched a few years ago, but according to a Google executive, we shouldn’t expect to see our bills go up any time soon—not in the “near term,” at least.
What’s Up With YouTube TV’s Pricing Strategy?
YouTube TV started as a cord cutter’s dream. It was only $35 when it first hit the market in 2018 with a huge selection of channels. However, the price has since jumped to $64.99, which is approaching double the launch price.
In a recent interview with The Verge’s Decoder podcast, YouTube chief product officer Neal Mohan spoke about the price increases, citing “the economic realities of how content pricing works and the like.”
The fact is, serving TV channels comes with significant costs for Google. The company is forced to pass those costs onto consumers as they go up. Google’s goal with YouTube TV is to make money, and if channels increase the cost for Google to broadcast them, then the price of the service reflects that.
However, in the same interview, Mohan eased the minds of current subscribers, claiming “there’s not another price hike or anything in the near term.”
What does “near term” mean in this case? It’s difficult to say, and Mohan didn’t elaborate. We’d assume that Mohan at least means the rest of 2021 when talking about “near term,” but it’s difficult to say for sure. We’ll just have to wait and see what the company does, but right now its price is in line with Hulu + Live TV, which also goes for $64.99 per month.
It does seem like YouTube TV is due for a price increase, however. It jumped to its current $64.99 price just over a year ago in June 2020. Considering the hasty pace the service was on in the beginning, a full year seems like a long time. Still, perhaps Google has finally found the price that works both for its profitability and the comfort level of its subscribers.
Cutting the Cord
We are rapidly approaching the point where internet-based cable packages cost almost as much as traditional cable. Of course, we’re not quite there yet, but if the current price is too much for you, it’s easy enough to cancel YouTube TV and try something else.