Google is raising the price of YouTube TV to $50, showing that it's hard to compete with cable

Key Points
  • Google is increasing the price of YouTube TV to $50 per month.
  • The price rise applies to existing subscribers and new ones, and goes into effect for current members beginning May 13.
  • AT&T and Sling TV have also hiked prices recently, showing that battling traditional cable networks is not simple.
CNBC: Todd Haselton

Google's YouTube announced Wednesday that it's increasing the price of YouTube TV to $49.99 per month for subscribers, and $54.99 per month for subscribers who pay through Apple iTunes.

It affects new members beginning on Wednesday and will apply to existing members on the first bill after May 13. YouTube TV originally launched at a cost of $35 per month, and increased the price to $40 per month in March 2018.

The price bump is yet another sign that streaming TV providers are having a difficult time competing with traditional cable networks as they scale and add channels, even though streaming services were originally billed as a solution to expensive cable bills.

Just last month, AT&T increased the price of its DirecTV Now service by $10 per month. Dish's Sling TV has consistently raised the price of its product too.

Google explained a bit why it felt the need to increase its prices. It has expanded its service to cover all of the U.S. and added more than 10 new channels since launch. It's also adding Discovery, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, MotorTrend and EPIX.

Still, one of the initial appeals of streaming TV services was that people could cut the cable cord and only pay for internet service. But, as prices creep up, these services are becoming nearly as costly as cable.

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