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Google (GOOG) hikes YouTube TV price to $50 as it adds more channels

By next month, customers of YouTube TV will be shelling out more to enjoy their favorite videos and movies. Google (Nasdaq: GOOG, GOOGL) has hiked the monthly subscription charges for YouTube TV by $10 as competition in the streaming TV market keeps intensifying. The new charge will come into effect mid-May for existing customers, while new users will be billed as per the revised price effective immediately.

At $50, the revised price is up from $40 the company used to charge earlier, which was raised by $5 when it started providing the Turner channels last year. Those who pay subscription charges through Apple (AAPL) iTunes will have to pay $55. Since its launch, YouTube TV added around 10 new channels and broadened its reach to almost all areas in the US, which ultimately necessitated the price hike.

Continuing the expansion, Google recently forged a long-term partnership with Discovery Channel, thereby gaining access to the latter’s large collection of on-demand titles. This week, more than a dozen popular channels of Discovery were added to the network.

Since its launch, YouTube added around 10 new TV channels and broadened its reach to almost all areas in the US

The price revision comes at a time when the market is witnessing a rapid shift from traditional cable TV to over-the-top TV services. However, digital TV service providers continue to face stiff competition from cable TV operators. Many, including AT&T and Sling TV, have increased subscription charges to save margins. Going by the current trend, it seems the days when people paid only for the internet and got the TV content free are over.

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Though streaming TV providers offer cheaper services initially, compared to cable, margins come under pressure as they introduce new channels. Recent pricing trends show that over-the-top TV services cannot be considered as a cheaper alternative to cable anymore.

As YouTube keeps adding new channels and ramping up its digital infrastructure to reach a wider audience, subscription charges are bound to increase further in the coming days.

Listen to publicly listed companies’ earnings conference calls along with the edited closed caption text

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