March 4, 2019
Hulu with Live TV, the subscription streaming video service’s separate online TV platform, has reportedly topped two million subscribers.
Launched in May 2017, Hulu’s online TV service ranks second in subscribers behind Dish Network’s pioneering Sling TV with 2.4 million (at the end of 2018), AT&T’s DirecTV Now (1.6 million) and YouTube TV (1 million). Sony’s PlayStation Vue reportedly has more 500,000 subs.
Hulu, which is co-owned by Disney, Fox, Comcast and WarnerMedia, continues to grow subscribers while DirecTV Now’s highly-publicized $39.99 service lost 267,000 subs in the most-recent fiscal period. AT&T attributed the decline to raising the monthly fee $5 to $44.99, among other factors.
Sling TV ushered in the online TV market in 2015 as a response to cord cutting and burgeoning SVOD services such as Netflix. It was the first service to offer standalone access to ESPN and other pay-TV channels traditionally tethered to big bundle subscriptions.
Disney, which is in the final stages of gaining regulatory approval of its $71.3 billion acquisition of 20th Century Fox, would become majority stake holder in Hulu and its 25 million subs.
The media giant reportedly is considering acquiring WarnerMedia’s 10% stake as the latter finalizes launching its own over-the-top video service in the fourth quarter along with Disney’s branded Disney+ SVOD service.