The cheapest of the major internet TV streaming services, Sling TV does not draw new subscribers as it used. Yesterday, the parent dish Dish said that Sling TV only picked up 26,000 new subscribers in the third quarter of 2018 and acknowledged that the service had drawn "fewer" customers compared to the results in the few quarters before. (Sling TV reported 41,000 new subscribers in Q2 and 91,000 in Q1.) In the quarter, subscriber gains were 240,000.
A possible reason for the weak growth is quite simple: price. Back in June, Sling TV raised its prize on its base Orange subscription from $ 19.99 to $ 25. Five bucks may not seem so much, but that means something for customers who have taken these streaming TV services to save so much as possible compared to traditional cable.
But the small price increase is not the only thing that has frustrated Sling TV customers; The dish is in standby with WarnerMedia, which has led to the sudden removal of HBO and Cinemax from the service. Both networks became dark on November 1st. The two parties have not been able to agree on a new distribution agreement, which has also resulted in HBO / Cinemax being pulled from Dish Satellite Programming Program for the first time in 40 years. Univision has also removed its channels from Sling TV over a similar transport dispute, a change that the Dish has said "can be permanent."
In hopes of raising winnings on holiday, Sling TV today announced a handful of offers ranging from gift cards to discounts on Roku devices for extended free trial.
Sling TV is not alone in violation of slow growth. As noted by Bloomberg, AT & T DirecTV has now only received 49,000 subscribers last quarter compared to a jump of 342,000 customers in the quarter prior to it. CEO John Donovan said that consumers are "seasonal shopping for shows" and "jump from promotion to promotion and really spinning in the industry between us, Hulu Live, [and] YouTube TV. "This month, AT & T will cancel a $ 15 credit against DirecTV Now that it previously gave customers who also subscribe to the company's unlimited smartphone plan. (People who already have the discount will keep it.)
These latter two services seem to be far better than Sling TV and DirecTV Now at the moment. YouTube TV – currently the best of the user experience package – has racked up 100,000 new customers in the last two quarters, according to estimates analyst Vijay Jayant gave Bloomberg. Hulu with Live TV managed to do even better, with 175,000 new viewers.
As Donovan pointed out, none of these services requires customers to enter into contracts or any long-term commitment so it's very easy to just bail on one of them if there is a sudden channel shakeup or price increase and immediately switch to another .