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Cord-cutting blues: Hulu and YouTube are behind in the race to replace cable TV

Cord-cutting blues: Hulu and YouTube are behind in the race to replace cable TV
[Photo:jan dooley /Unsplash]

Streaming TV bundles from Hulu and YouTube are reportedly off to a slow start. Sources tell CNBC that Hulu with Live TV has roughly 450,000 subscribers, while YouTube TV has just over 300,000. By comparison, AT&T’s DirecTV Now bundle surpassed 1 million subscribers around its first birthday in December, and unofficial estimates put Dish’s Sling TV over the 2 million subscriber mark since launching in February 2015.

In fairness, Hulu only launched 8 months ago, while YouTube TV launched nine months ago. There’s also a silver lining for Hulu and YouTube: Their existing video services are  already popular, and they’re under no pressure to replace a dwindling pay TV subscriber base like AT&T and Dish are. Still, the numbers from CNBC just underscore how cutthroat the streaming bundle business has become, which might explain why Amazon and Verizon have so far avoided joining the fray.

This story has been updated with more context on launch dates for each streaming bundle.