YouTube TV is still growing, Google says, on the back of NFL…
One of our favorite (and more annoying) games to play is “Which streaming service is the biggest?” And most of the time, we have pretty strong answers. YouTube TV is probably the biggest one. Next comes Hulu with Live TV, then Sling TV, and then fuboTV. And DirecTV Stream is at the back of the pack. Again, maybe.
The hedge is because three of those providers report solid data every three months. One of those numbers he calls when his corporate overlords feel like making a splash. And no one says anything.
But we got a very brief glimpse behind the YouTube TV curtain at Google’s (ahem, Alphabet’s) third-quarter earnings call. For some context, the last time we got any real subscriber numbers for YouTube TV was in June 2022, when it said, “We’re grateful that 5 million of you are currently on this journey with us.” This was 2 million more than the last time the numbers were reported in October 2020.
However, Google has never been more specific. And it was not there even today. We’ve long been worried that maybe YouTube TV really is shrinking in the interim, and we’ll never know. But it seems that is not so.
Ruth Porat, who in addition to being CFO, serves as Google’s president and chief investment officer, said the “other revenue” category grew 21% to $8.3 billion. “YouTube’s non-advertising revenue was driven by subscriber growth in YouTube TV and then YouTube Music Premium,” he said. So, YouTube TV is still growing. but how much? We don’t know.
Google Chief Business Officer Philip Schindler shed a little more light on the status of YouTube TV during an earnings call Q&A in response to a question from Michael Nathanson, senior managing director at MoffatNathanson.
“I think in the broader context,” Schindler said, “you have to look at [internal-link post_id=”3280736″ sponsored=”false” taxonomy=”false”]nfl sunday ticket[/internal-link] As part of our overall YouTube membership strategy. The great feedback we’ve received so far on the YouTube experience has been heartening. People love navigation. He likes multiview. They love chat and polls and, frankly, people are very happy with the lack of latency here.
Schindler also reiterated one of the big requests the company heard from customers – the ability to choose which games you can watch in MultiView instead of just going with a few set options. Still no word on whether it’ll be coming to YouTube TV any time soon. ESPN+ and Apple TV have their own multiview options that allow this. On the other hand, YouTube TV also lets you watch news channels in multiview. For its part, Google has said that allowing viewers to choose their own games is “technically a very difficult task.”
“Overall, the teams are working hard to create a great experience,” Schindler said. “And we’re really trying to focus on getting our first season right and providing the best experience possible.”
So, then, we wait. We wait for real subscriber numbers and better multiview. There is no betting on who will come first.