Deeper Dive—How YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV and others stack up after Q3

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Rarely do all the major virtual MVPDs provide fresh subscriber counts at the same time but fortune smiled during third-quarter earnings season.

The newest entrant to the vMVPD field, T-Mobile’s reimagined TVision, has only been on the market for two weeks so there’s no subscriber totals yet. The service is only available to T-Mobile’s wireless subscribers (postpaid to start with and prepaid soon) but the company just passed 100 million total customers, so TVision already has a large addressable audience.

While we wait to find out TVision will be received, YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, Sling TV, AT&T TV Now and Philo all issued updated subscriber numbers within the past month. Here’s how they all stack up.

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Hulu + Live TV

Q3 2020 subscriber total: 4.1 million

Q2 2020 subscriber total: 3.4 million

After a sequential slowdown, Hulu + Live TV picked up speed and added 700,000 subscribers in the third quarter, up 41% year over year. Disney said average monthly revenue per paid subscriber for the Hulu + Live TV rose from $58.82 to $71.90 year over year thanks to a retail pricing increase and higher live TV per-subscriber advertising revenue. However, the ARPU growth was held back slightly by the introduction of the Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu bundle.

YouTube TV

Q3 2020 subscriber total: 3 million

Q2 2020 subscriber total: 2.5 million

Google hadn’t updated YouTube TV’s subscriber count since February but based on estimates from MoffettNathanson, the service ended the second quarter with 2.5 million subscribers. That means YouTube TV added 500,000 subscribers in the third quarter, which is remarkable considering how consumers responded to the service increasing its monthly rate by $15.

Sling TV

Q3 2020 subscriber total: 2.46 million

Q2 2020 subscriber total: 2.25 million

After a few quarters of subscriber declines, Dish Network’s Sling TV bounced back in the third quarter. The return to growth, which the company mainly attributed to live sports, helped to offset continued subscriber losses in the satellite TV business. More Sling TV subscribers and fewer satellite could continue to negatively impact Dish’s pay TV ARPU but the company said that it plans to be disciplined in acquiring and retaining profitable customers.

Philo

Q3 2020 subscriber total: 800,000

Q2 2020 subscriber total: 750,000

Philo CEO Andrew McCollum this week broke out new subscriber numbers for Philo during Fierce Video’s Stream TV Show. He suggested that the service’s $20/month price point isn’t increasing any time soon thanks to low operational and programming costs. “I can’t say that the price of Philo will never go up. But we definitely put a lot of effort into keeping it as low as we can,” he said.

AT&T TV Now

Q3 2020 subscriber total: 683,000

Q2 2020 subscriber total: 720,000

AT&T TV Now has become an afterthought for its parent company, which is focused squarely on HBO Max and AT&T TV. The latest subscriber count for the service (formerly known as DirecTV Now) was down a whopping 40.3% year over year. Now there’s a chance the service could be wrapped up into a deal to sell minority stakes in DirecTV and U-verse. It would be a rather unceremonious exit for what was once, not all that long ago, considered the future of AT&T’s video business.

FuboTV

Q3 2020 subscriber total: 455,000

Q2 2020 subscriber total: 286,126

FuboTV’s latest earnings release lead with sports wagering plans, premium programming deals and airline distribution news, but the real highlight was subscriber growth that blew past the company’s year-end forecast. Now the company expects to total between 500,000 and 510,000 (up as much as 62% year over year) subscribers by the end of 2020. At this rate of growth, even with an expected slowdown during the first half of 2021, it won’t be long before fuboTV drops AT&T TV Now to the bottom of the list.

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