Skip to main content

YouTube TV price hike is a reminder that you have to do the math

The news that YouTube TV — the largest streaming provider of live TV in the U.S. with more than 5 million subscribers — is getting more expensive is neither welcome nor surprising. It’s just the latest price increase among multi-platform video distributors, which is industry parlance for services like YTTV, Hulu With Live TV, FuboTV, Sling TV, and DirecTV Stream. And prices for four of those five providers are dangerously close to what you’d pay for traditional cable.

But in a slightly strange turn of events, the monthly bill for some YouTube TV subscribers — myself included — actually will go down slightly starting in April, when the new rates take effect.

Related Videos
YouTube TV on iPhone..

As a quick recap, the base YouTube TV plan is increasing from $65 a month to $73 a month. That’s about a 12.3% increase. But at the same time, the YouTube TV 4K Plus add-on — which gets you some live sports and a smattering of on-demand content in that higher resolution — is decreasing in price from $20 a month to $10 a month. (And the new promotional period will get you that add-on for $4.99 a month for the first year.)

You have to factor a little bit of taxes into things, too, and we certainly can argue over whether 4K Plus is worth it. But the bottom line is this: My monthly bill is going to go down a couple of bucks a month — from $85 to $83 — despite the base plan price increase. And for what it’s worth, my March bill shaves off even more, combining the current $65 base plan rate with the cheaper $10 4K Plus rate. (That’s all before taxes.)

We’re all going to gripe about streaming services raising prices, and it’s an individual decision whether it’s “worth it” to you. I can’t answer that for you, and it’s a good time to remind folks that there’s no such thing as a “best” streaming service. They’re all different, and it’s simple to cancel one and start up another.

And that means it’s all a numbers game. You have to do the math. You have to maintain at least a loose understanding of what you’re paying every month on all of your services, and you should do an audit at least once a year and decide if you’re still OK with what you’re spending.

And if what you’re spending is more than what you think it’s worth to you, it’s time to look around at some YouTube TV alternatives.

Editors' Recommendations

The most innovative streaming devices of 2022
Apple TV 4k (2022) on purple background

Here's the thing about streaming devices. They don't change a whole lot. They do what they're meant to do — stream video, and maybe some other stuff — but the underlying tech doesn't change much. And that's because the way we stream video hasn't really changed, either. So the differences are more on the edges. That doesn't mean we haven't seen improvements, however. And while our list of the best streaming devices hasn't changed overall, there definitely are some differences to note this year.

Want to see the rest? Check out our full list of the most innovative tech products of 2022!
Winner: Apple TV 4K (2022)

Read more
Get the most out of your Apple TV 4K (2022) with these tips and tricks
The Apple TV 4K standing vertically with the Apple logo showing from the front

Apple TV 4K is one of the best streaming devices you can buy. It's so capable that we're willing to bet it can do things you never knew it could. While Apple makes it very easy to pull Apple TV 4K out of the box and get right to streaming movies and TV shows, it is capable of so much more — and not just for Apple users. Though, let’s be frank, there are several features available only to those who own other Apple devices.

Trust me when we say that just a little bit of time invested in learning about this stuff pays off big as you use your Apple TV day after day. By the time we’re done, you will be an Apple TV power user.
Video guide

Read more
YouTube TV adds a clock to its live guide; Apple TV gets the new UI
YouTube TV clock.

It's the simple things that can make all the difference. YouTube TV — the largest live TV streaming service in the U.S. — has added a clock to its live guide.

Why, you ask? So you can see what time it is, of course.

Read more