YouTube TV is jumping up in price again. The cable TV replacement service launched in 2017 for $35, but it went up to $40 in 2018, $50 in 2019, $65 in 2020, and with this latest price increase, it’s up to $72.99 a month. It’s a cable TV replacement at cable TV prices.
YouTube made the announcement on Twitter, saying, “As content costs have risen and we continue to invest in our quality of service, we’ll be adjusting our monthly cost.” You have to wonder if “content costs” means the massive NFL Sunday Ticket deal Google recently signed for $2 billion per year. Google will probably charge individual users $300 per year for its new NFL package, but the service is typically a money-losing endeavor even with those giant yearly bills, so raising the YouTube TV price for non-subscribers makes some financial sense.
The good news is that YouTube’s announcement isn’t all about higher prices. That $72.99 a month only gets you HD service, and an upgrade to 4K resolution has traditionally been available for $19.99 extra per month. The 4K add-on is now going down in price to $9.99 per month, so if you’ve been subscribed to 4K this whole time, your monthly bill will actually go down $2.
YouTube TV is a cable TV replacement service. Rather than pay Comcast, Spectrum, or some other cable monopoly for TV channels like CNN, MTV, and ESPN, you can pay Google instead. YouTube TV lets you get over 100 cable channels over the Internet, on any device, instead of being limited to your old-school cable TV box. You get local channels, too, so it’s a decent option for cord cutters who still want the TV experience.
Google has been on a cost-cutting mission lately, killing a bunch of niche products, shutting down research departments, and putting the squeeze on employees. The company has also been raising the price of a few subscription services. The cost of Google Workspace business accounts jumped 20 percent earlier this week, and YouTube Premium Family plans went up 27 percent in October. The other subscriptions we’re keeping an eye on are single-use YouTube Premium subs and Google One monthly subscriptions, which give users more cloud storage. Will all of them increase in price, too?
Google says the price increase is effective for new signups immediately, while existing users will see their bills change beginning on 4/18. The YouTube TV Twitter account notes that if you’re not happy with the price increase, you can cancel your account at any time here.