Sling TV beats Hulu, YouTube to largest live streaming TV provider title

Sling TV
Image Credit: DISH / Sling TV

Sling TV has just crossed the 2.4 million subscriber mark, according parent company Dish Network's latest earnings report. This makes it the most subscribed to live TV streaming service in the US, ahead of its rival DirecTV Now

That 2.4 million number puts Sling TV ahead of YouTube TV, which had only 800,000 subscribers back in July 2018, and Hulu with Live TV, which only had around one million subscribers at last count. Sling's main competitor, DirecTV Now, actually lost 267,000 subscribers at the end of last year, which helped solidify Sling TV's top spot.

That being said, it’s not all good news – despite some positive growth, Sling TV could stall out or lose subscribers in the next year.

In 2017 Dish reported that Sling TV gained over 700,000 subscribers. In 2018, that number fell to only about 200,000 new subscribers. If that trend continues – or worsens – after the arrival of Apple’s live TV streaming service, it could put Dish and Sling TV in a bad spot this time next year.

Sling TV saves you the dollar bills

Why is Sling so far ahead of the competition? It's likely due to the fact that Sling TV is the cheapest live TV streaming option on the market currently at $25 per month, and it was also one of the first when it launched in 2015. 

The service gained traction early as a way to watch basic cable channels like ESPN, AMC, TNT and Disney for a low monthly fee and allowed cable cutters to escape from year-long contracts and costly rental equipment fees.

For comparison, YouTube TV and PlayStation Vue cost $40 per month, while Hulu with Live TV costs $45 per month after a recent price hike. 

That said, despite its early lead, Sling TV might have a bigger fight on its hands when Apple debuts its video streaming service some point later in 2019.

Via TechCrunch

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.