July 7, 2020
Split the fee with a friend or switch to Sling: Readers respond to YouTube TV's price hike
Last week, YouTube announced a 30% price hike for its cable TV alternative service, going from $35—when first announced in 2017—to $65 monthly beginning July 31.
Outraged consumers are still venting on social media. We wrote several articles about the move from the streaming service, and heard from many of you.
At $65, YouTube TV is the most expensive of the cable TV alternatives, which brings the cable TV experience to streaming, with many of the same channels, but fewer than you would find on a more expensive $100+ cable TV package.
Hulu with Live TV and AT&T Now are $55 monthly, while Sling TV, which has fewer networks available, is $30 monthly.
Many consumers vented about a price hike during a pandemic. Others support YouTube owner Google fr upping the price, saying it was undervalued, and the company needed to turn a profit.
Some unique alternatives:
— Split the monthly fee with a friend and then it won't seem so bad.YouTube says up to five people can share a membership: "You can create a family group to share your membership with up to five people at no additional cost. When you create a family group, you become the family manager." While aimed towards families, if you can persuade a friend (or loved one) to go in with you, $65 monthly becomes $32.50 and while you get about the same number of channels as with Hulu with Live TV, Hulu can only be seen on 2 screens at a time, the DVR maxes out at 50 hours of programming, unlike YouTube, or an extra $15 monthly for more.
— Switch to Sling, for $30 a month. Fine print galore. Unlike YouTube, Sling doesn't carry the four major broadcast networks, and only has NBC and Fox in some markets. Additionally, it doesn't offer DVR service with the $30. That's an extra $5 monthly. Two solutions: subscribe to CBS All-Access for the CBS lineup, should you want it, for $5.99 monthly, and/or Hulu's $5.99 service, which offers prime-time shows from NBC, ABC and Fox the day after the initial airing. That's $47, if you go for all of them, a savings of $18 monthly, or $216 yearly.
— Get an antenna. The old rabbit ears of years ago have been greatly improved since. You can pick up an antenna for as low as $25, and most have amplifiers that plug into your electrical outlet and boost the signal. In most parts of the U.S., unless you're in deep, rural areas, your signal should be just as good as cable. And free.
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