The transition of TV viewers from traditional cable to streaming alternatives is underway. But media mergers could raise costs for the new services, making it tougher for them to turn a profit.
As hundreds of thousands of people continue to drop cable and satellite TV every quarter, some are signing up for cheaper streaming versions introduced in the past few years. Google’s YouTube TV has so far amassed close to 800,000 subscribers while Hulu with Live TV is near a million, The Information has learned (see chart below). Including Dish’s Sling TV and AT&T’s DirecTV Now, the total number of people using these services is close to six million—75% higher than last October. But it’s still a fraction of the estimated 92 million people who still pay for satellite and cable.