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How many subscribers does YouTube TV have?

YouTube TV is now the biggest streaming service for live, linear television in the United States, at more than 5 million subscribers as of July 2022.

That number comes straight from YouTube itself. It’s only the second such update we’ve gotten on subscriptions, the last coming in October 2020, when YouTube TV said it had “more than 3 million” subscribers.

And that’s as accurate as we’re probably going to get anytime soon. Not only does YouTube (or Alphabet/Google, if you want to throw the umbrella companies into the mix) not give subscriber updates on the regular, it also doesn’t do so with any great fidelity.

Phil Nickinson/Digital Trends

YouTube TV’s direct competitors, meanwhile, offer up subscriptions numbers along with their parent companies’ quarterly earnings. And so long as everyone’s books are on the up and up (and we have no reason to believe they aren’t), YouTube TV’s latest subscriber update definitely puts it in the No. 1 spot, insofar as subs go.

Hulu With Live TV sits squarely in the middle of the pack, with 4.1 million subscribers as of April 2022. Hulu Live basically has hovered there at the 4 million mark since October 2020, not dipping any lower since 3.7 million since then. Sling TV is the next biggest streaming service in the U.S., at 2.2 million subscribers as of the first quarter of 2022. And it’s pretty much been in that ballpark for the past couple years, topping out at 2.5 million subs in the third quarter of 2021. FuboTV, meanwhile, has been hovering around 1 million subs the past few quarters.

YouTube TV’s numbers are all the more impressive given that there was a bit of uncertainty surrounding the great YouTube TV vs. Roku Kerfuffle of 2021. Roku, of course, is the biggest streaming platform in the United States. And toward the end of 2021 the two companies struggled to reach a new deal that would keep YouTube and YouTube TV on Roku. (Whether that was all Roku’s fault or YouTube TV’s fault very much depended on your point of view.)

Regardless, everyone kissed and made up (and reached whatever financial agreement needed to be reached), and any subscriber churn apparently was staunched.

What led YouTube TV’s growth, then, while the other streaming services have pretty much held pat? For sure, it remains a strong service. It’s got a channel lineup that’s both greater in numbers and easier in use than its competitors. (The latter is subjective, of course.) It’s great on a TV. It’s great on a mobile device.

But YouTube TV also has had an extremely strong marketing push the past few years. You can’t watch the NBA Finals or World Series without seeing the YouTube TV logo early and often. Then there’s the internal advertising possibilities with YouTube itself, plus anywhere else Google wants to put YouTube TV in front of you.

The only remaining questions, then, are how much more growth YouTube TV will see — and how much longer we’ll have to wait before we get updated numbers again.

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YouTube TV rolls out multiview: watch up to 4 NCAA games at once
An example of YouTube TV's multiview feature.

If you love college basketball and can process more than one game at a time, you're going to go bananas for YouTube TV's new multiview feature, which will be rolling out on a limited, early access basis starting March 14.  With multiview, you'll be able to pick up to four channels and see them all simultaneously, with the ability to easily flip the active audio from one to another. The new feature is compatible with any TV-based YouTube TV installations (streaming media players, smart TVs, and game consoles), but it doesn't yet work on mobile devices or computers.

Initially, multiview will only be available to select YouTube TV users, who will be chosen at random. But Google says the goal is to include every subscriber by the time NFL football season starts in the fall. Another limitation, at least for now, is that YouTube TV will preselect the multiview channels you can choose. At launch, only channels that carry NCAA tournament games will be included in that preselected list.
How to use YouTube TV multiview
If you're one of the lucky, randomly chosen users, you'll see an option to watch up to four preselected, different streams at once in your “Top Picks for You” section. After selecting multiview, you can switch audio and captions between streams, and jump in and out of a full-screen view of a game.
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Roku today announced that its first slate of Roku Select and Roku Plus Series televisions — the first sets to actually be made by Roku — are now available exclusively at Best Buy. The first 11 models are meant to be affordable options not unlike the Roku TVs made by the company's manufacturing partners. (Those partners, so far as we know, will still make their own Roku TVs.)

The Plus Series is the more advanced of the two options, with QLED screens at 55, 65, and 75 inches. Those prices hit $649, $749, and $1,199, respectively.

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Hulu app icon on Roku.

If you're a subscriber of Hulu With Live TV and woke up today without your local ABC affiliate, you're not alone. The streaming service no longer has access to ABC affiliates owned by Sinclair.

That doesn't mean that you won't see any ABC content — ABC shows are still available on demand, as is ABC via the "Localish" channel. But if you rely on a Sinclair-owned ABC affiliate for local programming, it'll be missing.

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