YouTube TV Continues to Dominate Cord Cutting. Can DIRECTV STREAM, Sling TV, & Fubo Catch Up?





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Cord Cutting continues to grow in 2023 as cable TV companies struggle to find a way to keep subscribers. Now that the 3rd quarter 2023 earnings are in, we get a good idea of how YouTube TV is stacking up compared to the other major live TV streaming services. However, what is clear is YouTube TV will continue to dominate cord cutting in 2023.

Here are the most popular live TV streaming services based on subscribers:

  1. YouTube TV 6-7 Million Subscribers*
  2. Hulu + Live TV 4.6 Million Subscribers
  3. Sling TV 2.12 Million Subscribers
  4. Fubo 1.477 Million Subscribers

There are two big notes with these numbers. First, DIRECTV STREAM no longer reports numbers, but it is expected to be around two million subscribers but DIRECTV will not break out the numbers or report new ones, making that hard to know.

The second important note here is that YouTube TV has not reported numbers since the middle of 2022 when it had 5 million subscribers. According to our estimates, YouTube TV now has between 6 and 7 million subscribers.

Back in October according to a survey from The Athletic, YouTube TV is the favorite streaming service for sports fans according to the survey of over 3,100 people. In that survey, it said YouTube TV was more popular than all the other similar streaming services combined.

So we wanted to know if regular cord cutters would have results similar to the Athletic survey of football fans. In our survey of almost 600 cord cutters, from our Cord Cutting Tech Support Group on Facebook, YouTube TV once again dominated the survey. 46% of cord cutters said they used YouTube TV compared to 29% who said they used Hulu, DIRECTV STREAM, Fubo, Vidgo, and Sling TV combined.

Here is how the survey results from the Athletic came in:

Cable: 37.2 percent
YouTube TV: 37.1 percent
Hulu + Live TV: 8 percent
DIRECTV STREAM: 5.2 percent
Antenna: 2.8 percent
Fubo: 2.3 percent
Sling: 2.2 percent
All others: Less than 1 percent

Here is how our survey of cord cutters came in:

YouTube TV: 46%
Sling TV 11%
Hulu + Live TV 9%
Fubo 3%
Vidgo 1%

The question now is can other services catch up to YouTube TV. We have seen slow growth with Sling TV, Fubo, and Hulu all adding subscribers after losing some earlier this year. Yet YouTube TV is reportedly growing faster than any of these services. Clearly YouTube TV has found a working formula that is out pacing what other live TV services can do.

Increasingly though live TV services are not the main focus of cord cutting. Recent numbers show that the decline of cable TV subscribers is far faster than the growth of live TV streaming. Increasingly most cord cutters are happy going to on-demand only services in 2023.

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