Hulu & YouTube rise to 3 million live TV viewers as Apple nears video streaming debut

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Hulu is closing in on 2 million live TV subscribers, while YouTube TV has topped 1 million, illustrating the odds Apple may face in launching its own streaming video service later in 2019.

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Both Hulu and YouTube are adding "hundreds of thousands" of subscribers every quarter, Bloomberg said on Friday, citing multiple sources. The gains may be coming at the expense of rivals like Sling TV and DirecTV Now -- the former is offering a 40 percent discount to new subscribers, while DirecTV Now saw its customers drop 14 percent in the last quarter following a price hike.

While Hulu's live TV package costs at least $44.99 per month, that includes over 60 channels and all of Hulu's on-demand content. YouTube TV offers a similar number of channels for $40, plus unlimited cloud recording.

Apple is expected to reveal its service at a March 25 press event, but launch sometime later, possibly this summer or fall.

Initially at least Apple's service is expected to target on-demand content, including a mix of original shows and movies and subscriptions to outside services. Netflix and Hulu are believed to be holdouts, yet other media giants like CBS, Viacom, and HBO are either onboard or in talks.

Apple's first wave of original video could be free to people that buy its devices. It's reportedly searching for "tentpole" shows that could sustain a paid plan, much in the same way that people will spend on HBO Now for access to "Game of Thrones." The company is even rumored to be ditching family-friendly content rules that blocked earlier projects.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,805unconfirmed, member

    Ball is in Apples court. These companies seem confused.


    BTW These numbers would be a disaster if they were Apples.

    entropyslolliver
  • Reply 2 of 17
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,171member
    A plus with YouTube TV: far less value to Hulu since YouTubeTV will offer up past network shows which was Hulu's first specialty. So I've discontinued that one.
    Just finished a binge-watch of The Gifted. A bit campy but no need to give it your full undivided attention so it's a fun show. 

    And then there's Netflix, 140M.... Geeshh!
    edited March 2019
  • Reply 3 of 17
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,573member
    I wouldn’t wish the Apple TV YouTube app experience on anyone. It’s so awful. Because it’s a repackaged console app, it ignores all the platform-specific UX, such as the universal swipe-down pull-down menu for subtitles and audio output devices. And its scrubbing UX is simply horrid compared to the platform’s.
    lolliver
  • Reply 4 of 17
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,171member
    I wouldn’t wish the Apple TV YouTube app experience on anyone. It’s so awful. Because it’s a repackaged console app, it ignores all the platform-specific UX, such as the universal swipe-down pull-down menu for subtitles and audio output devices. And its scrubbing UX is simply horrid compared to the platform’s.
    Hadn't seen it on my AppleTV so can't comment on it, but on Roku it's OK. The video quality is much better than Sling's too, my previous live TV streamer. 
  • Reply 5 of 17
    djames4242djames4242 Posts: 620member
    These subscriber counts are just going to go up and up until the behemoths like Comcast figure out how to pull their heads out. We had a moderate package through Comcast and finally drop kicked them when our bill shot up to $260 for a mid-level TV package, 300mb Internet (with only 10mb uploads), and a home phone we weren't using (because Ooma's VoIP service is better). I tried and tried to get them to lower our bill, but the best they could do is drop $20 off for 12 months. We couldn't drop the home phone because our bill would actually go up $20, and our Internet speed would be cut in half. I even tried to turn in their cable modem to save the $10 rental fee, but that wouldn't fly either because our package required compatible equipment - meaning we *had* to have their voice-enabled bridge even though we weren't using their voice service. All this on top of countless issues of them screwing us over by sneaking in hidden charges and not honoring their contracts (and refusing to provide any written contracts so we could hold them to those contracted prices).

    We ended up moving our Internet to the local telco (CenturyLink) who offers gigabit fiber (downstream *and* upstream) unmetered service (as opposed to Comcast's 1TB of data, a cap we were actually up against every month) for $75 (for life!). Ooma is about $10/month for their premium service. For IPTV we opted for DirecTV Now because it's the only service that streams all of our local channels. The other services have some local channels, but not all of them. Something not ever mentioned with comparing the IPTV services is the cost of add-ons. DTV has HBO and Cinemax for $5/month and Showtime for $8. The other services charge $15 each. So if movie channels are important to you, the cost savings (of nearly $30) adds up.

    I admit that Hulu's offering is attractive, simply for the fact that we are paying separately for their add-free service.

    The problem with these subscription services is that we're already suffering from subscription exhaustion. We're currently paying for DTV Now (with HBO, Showtime, and Starz), Hulu, Netflix (which we admittedly rarely use anymore), Amazon Prime (even though we've had it long before it came with anything beyond free shipping), AcornTV, Apple Music, di.fm, and probably a few others I'm forgetting about. I don't see adding any of the new services that are coming up because, at some point we'll be paying out the same amount of money we were paying Comcast and that's just too much.
  • Reply 6 of 17
    djames4242djames4242 Posts: 620member
    gatorguy said:
    I wouldn’t wish the Apple TV YouTube app experience on anyone. It’s so awful. Because it’s a repackaged console app, it ignores all the platform-specific UX, such as the universal swipe-down pull-down menu for subtitles and audio output devices. And its scrubbing UX is simply horrid compared to the platform’s.
    Hadn't seen it on my AppleTV so can't comment on it, but on Roku it's OK. The video quality is much better than Sling's too, my previous live TV streamer. 
    The DTV Now interface is somewhat awful as well. I assumed it's largely the limitation of trying to replace a TV remote with its zillion buttons with the TV remote which effectively has about three buttons. I'm not sure how it works with the other services, but trying to scrub through commercials with the DVR either involves a lot of top-left top-right clicking to skip 10/15 seconds, or pausing the video and scrubbing with the touch pad on the remote only to have it misread your touch and zoom back to the start of the program or twenty minutes forward forcing you to try to remember where you were.

    I watch 95% of my shows on Hulu and don't deal with the ads, but the shows my wife watches are largely not on Hulu and the scrubbing thing absolutely drives her nuts. Less nuts than ever giving Comcast another dime, though.

    The picture quality is outstanding, however. It's so much better than the über-compressed video we got from Comcast...
    lolliver
  • Reply 7 of 17
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,805unconfirmed, member
    I wouldn’t wish the Apple TV YouTube app experience on anyone. It’s so awful. Because it’s a repackaged console app, it ignores all the platform-specific UX, such as the universal swipe-down pull-down menu for subtitles and audio output devices. And its scrubbing UX is simply horrid compared to the platform’s.


    I think it's fine and I believe they brought back the Siri commands for rewinding etc.


    P.S.

    Youtube is the worst app on every platform.

    edited March 2019
  • Reply 8 of 17
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,573member
    I wouldn’t wish the Apple TV YouTube app experience on anyone. It’s so awful. Because it’s a repackaged console app, it ignores all the platform-specific UX, such as the universal swipe-down pull-down menu for subtitles and audio output devices. And its scrubbing UX is simply horrid compared to the platform’s.


    I think it's fine and I believe they brought back the Siri commands for rewinding etc.


    P.S.

    Youtube is the worst app on every platform.

    It's not fine. It's obviously a port, that doesn't adhere to platform-native conventions. Here's another one -- setting the selector focus on a video and pushing the Play button does...nothing. You have to use the Enter button, like on the platform they ported it from, rather than use the ATV's Play button. 

    The missing subtitles & audio pull-down menu is more serious, as it's actually impossible to switch outputs (say to your HomePods) from within the YouTube video -- you are instead forced to leave the app and do it via the tvOS interface. In a normal app (Netflix etc) you can very quickly switch audio end-points without even stopping the stream.
    lolliver
  • Reply 9 of 17
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,171member
    I wouldn’t wish the Apple TV YouTube app experience on anyone. It’s so awful. Because it’s a repackaged console app, it ignores all the platform-specific UX, such as the universal swipe-down pull-down menu for subtitles and audio output devices. And its scrubbing UX is simply horrid compared to the platform’s.


    I think it's fine and I believe they brought back the Siri commands for rewinding etc.


    P.S.

    Youtube is the worst app on every platform.

    Not YouTube. YouTubeTV. They're different services.
  • Reply 10 of 17
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,171member
    I wouldn’t wish the Apple TV YouTube app experience on anyone. It’s so awful. Because it’s a repackaged console app, it ignores all the platform-specific UX, such as the universal swipe-down pull-down menu for subtitles and audio output devices. And its scrubbing UX is simply horrid compared to the platform’s.


    I think it's fine and I believe they brought back the Siri commands for rewinding etc.


    P.S.

    Youtube is the worst app on every platform.

    It's not fine. It's obviously a port, that doesn't adhere to platform-native conventions. Here's another one -- setting the selector focus on a video and pushing the Play button does...nothing. You have to use the Enter button, like on the platform they ported it from, rather than use the ATV's Play button. 

    The missing subtitles & audio pull-down menu is more serious, as it's actually impossible to switch outputs (say to your HomePods) from within the YouTube video -- you are instead forced to leave the app and do it via the tvOS interface. In a normal app (Netflix etc) you can very quickly switch audio end-points without even stopping the stream.
    Are you commenting about YouTube or on YouTubeTV? They're not the same thing, but it sounds as if you might be referring to the former.
  • Reply 11 of 17
    bonobobbonobob Posts: 307member
    I wouldn’t wish the Apple TV YouTube app experience on anyone. It’s so awful. Because it’s a repackaged console app, it ignores all the platform-specific UX, such as the universal swipe-down pull-down menu for subtitles and audio output devices. And its scrubbing UX is simply horrid compared to the platform’s.
    That's certainly true of the YouTube TV app.  I don't now about the YouTube app on Apple TV, as I've never used it.  The YouTube TV app is so bad that I gave up on it entirely, and now Airplay from a phone to the Apple TV.  That way, I can use the native Apple TV interface for skipping and scrubbing instead of the clunky barely functional mess in the native app.  But the phone app is itself a buggy, non-intuitive mess.
    lolliver
  • Reply 12 of 17
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 1,216member
    I wouldn’t wish the Apple TV YouTube app experience on anyone. It’s so awful. Because it’s a repackaged console app, it ignores all the platform-specific UX, such as the universal swipe-down pull-down menu for subtitles and audio output devices. And its scrubbing UX is simply horrid compared to the platform’s.
    I agree.. and they recently made some changes that have made it even worse. Same with the phone app, which is better than the Apple TV app, but just barely. I hate changes that seem to be made just for the sake of change.
    lolliver
  • Reply 13 of 17
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,573member
    gatorguy said:
    I wouldn’t wish the Apple TV YouTube app experience on anyone. It’s so awful. Because it’s a repackaged console app, it ignores all the platform-specific UX, such as the universal swipe-down pull-down menu for subtitles and audio output devices. And its scrubbing UX is simply horrid compared to the platform’s.


    I think it's fine and I believe they brought back the Siri commands for rewinding etc.


    P.S.

    Youtube is the worst app on every platform.

    It's not fine. It's obviously a port, that doesn't adhere to platform-native conventions. Here's another one -- setting the selector focus on a video and pushing the Play button does...nothing. You have to use the Enter button, like on the platform they ported it from, rather than use the ATV's Play button. 

    The missing subtitles & audio pull-down menu is more serious, as it's actually impossible to switch outputs (say to your HomePods) from within the YouTube video -- you are instead forced to leave the app and do it via the tvOS interface. In a normal app (Netflix etc) you can very quickly switch audio end-points without even stopping the stream.
    Are you commenting about YouTube or on YouTubeTV? They're not the same thing, but it sounds as if you might be referring to the former.
    The Apple TV YouTube app. Is there a separate tvOS app for YouTube TV? Is it better than the YouTube app, which is awful? It's as if Google doesn't really understand what UX is. It's like they're designing crummy "code once, run anywhere!" java apps and dropping them on each platform, ignorant of or unwilling to take the time to understand native platform conventions and UX.

    In short, typical Google.
    edited March 2019 lolliver
  • Reply 14 of 17
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,511member
    Netflix is available in 190 countries (they exclude Syria, North Korea and a couple more). Will the Apple product be a US only service? Or will it be rolled out like so many other Apple services slowly over several years to various countries?
  • Reply 15 of 17
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,805unconfirmed, member
    gatorguy said:
    I wouldn’t wish the Apple TV YouTube app experience on anyone. It’s so awful. Because it’s a repackaged console app, it ignores all the platform-specific UX, such as the universal swipe-down pull-down menu for subtitles and audio output devices. And its scrubbing UX is simply horrid compared to the platform’s.


    I think it's fine and I believe they brought back the Siri commands for rewinding etc.


    P.S.

    Youtube is the worst app on every platform.

    Not YouTube. YouTubeTV. They're different services.

    He said "Youtube App". Which Apple TV seems to have a better version of. If he means YouTube TV, then GOLLY! What a cluster*** for Google to separate Youtube into 2 apps. What were they thinking?

    I wouldn’t wish the Apple TV YouTube app experience on anyone. It’s so awful. Because it’s a repackaged console app, it ignores all the platform-specific UX, such as the universal swipe-down pull-down menu for subtitles and audio output devices. And its scrubbing UX is simply horrid compared to the platform’s.


    I think it's fine and I believe they brought back the Siri commands for rewinding etc.


    P.S.

    Youtube is the worst app on every platform.

    It's not fine. It's obviously a port, that doesn't adhere to platform-native conventions. Here's another one -- setting the selector focus on a video and pushing the Play button does...nothing. You have to use the Enter button, like on the platform they ported it from, rather than use the ATV's Play button. 

    The missing subtitles & audio pull-down menu is more serious, as it's actually impossible to switch outputs (say to your HomePods) from within the YouTube video -- you are instead forced to leave the app and do it via the tvOS interface. In a normal app (Netflix etc) you can very quickly switch audio end-points without even stopping the stream.

    It's not that bad. I hardly ever press the play button since the touch pad is always under your thumb when scrolling. I feel like Apple should remove the play/pause button since we hardly use it.

    Again we use the app every day with little problems. Youtube sucks on all platforms. You want an Apple-level of functionality from Google. I don't think you're wrong for that but YouTube sucks on every platform. 
  • Reply 16 of 17
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,805unconfirmed, member

    gatorguy said:
    I wouldn’t wish the Apple TV YouTube app experience on anyone. It’s so awful. Because it’s a repackaged console app, it ignores all the platform-specific UX, such as the universal swipe-down pull-down menu for subtitles and audio output devices. And its scrubbing UX is simply horrid compared to the platform’s.


    I think it's fine and I believe they brought back the Siri commands for rewinding etc.


    P.S.

    Youtube is the worst app on every platform.

    It's not fine. It's obviously a port, that doesn't adhere to platform-native conventions. Here's another one -- setting the selector focus on a video and pushing the Play button does...nothing. You have to use the Enter button, like on the platform they ported it from, rather than use the ATV's Play button. 

    The missing subtitles & audio pull-down menu is more serious, as it's actually impossible to switch outputs (say to your HomePods) from within the YouTube video -- you are instead forced to leave the app and do it via the tvOS interface. In a normal app (Netflix etc) you can very quickly switch audio end-points without even stopping the stream.
    Are you commenting about YouTube or on YouTubeTV? They're not the same thing, but it sounds as if you might be referring to the former.
    The Apple TV YouTube app. Is there a separate tvOS app for YouTube TV? Is it better than the YouTube app, which is awful? It's as if Google doesn't really understand what UX is. It's like they're designing crummy "code once, run anywhere!" java apps and dropping them on each platform, ignorant of or unwilling to take the time to understand native platform conventions and UX.

    In short, typical Google.
    YES!!! That's exactly what I'm saying BUT the Apple TV version is better than most.
  • Reply 17 of 17
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,171member
    gatorguy said:
    I wouldn’t wish the Apple TV YouTube app experience on anyone. It’s so awful. Because it’s a repackaged console app, it ignores all the platform-specific UX, such as the universal swipe-down pull-down menu for subtitles and audio output devices. And its scrubbing UX is simply horrid compared to the platform’s.


    I think it's fine and I believe they brought back the Siri commands for rewinding etc.


    P.S.

    Youtube is the worst app on every platform.

    Not YouTube. YouTubeTV. They're different services.

    He said "Youtube App". Which Apple TV seems to have a better version of. If he means YouTube TV, then GOLLY! What a cluster*** for Google to separate Youtube into 2 apps. What were they thinking?
    They certainly are NOT expert in marketing their own stuff as far as I'm concerned.

     YouTube TV is a live TV subscription service, emphasis on local channels plus a good selection of traditionally cable ones, unlimited "DVR", and full season past episodes. You already know what YouTube is (doesn't everybody?) and it's not that. Naming them so similar is a mistake IMO, but I'm certainly not executive-team material for a major tech who has become one of the most successful startups in business history. Just now 20 years old. 
    edited March 2019
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