Sling TV, the breakout hit of last year's Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, has continued to add new features -- including ESPN3, the sports network's live and on-demand channel, the first for a pay-TV provider.
However, Sling TV isn't resonating with consumers just yet, at least when compared to the tens of millions paying for the traditional cable television bundle.
At a press conference on Tuesday announcing the addition, Dish (DISH) -owned Sling said that its service now features more than 65 channels when all add-ons are included, including HBO. The core package costs $20 a month and also includes channels such as ESPN, TNT, AMC and others.
Sling also unveiled a new user interface, known as My TV, with the ability to search for content based on the show or movie. It's no longer limited to searching just the channel.
Sling TV currently offers several add-on packages for $5 more a month, though HBO costs $15 a month. A combination of some of the more popular packages -- such as Sports, Kids, World News, HBO, Lifestyle, Hollywood and Spanish TV -- would cost a consumer $65 a month vs. what they would pay for a traditional cable bundle, which has a plethora of channels.
Sling TV, the brainchild of Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen and Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch, garnered significant praise at CES 2015. Sling TV became one of the first over-the-top streaming services, or skinny bundles. The service helped usher in a new era of how consumers watch -- and, more importantly, pay for -- television.
During the presentation, Sling said there were more than 5 million people who have never had a traditional pay-TV bundle and 16 million who have "cut the cord," an industry term for those who've stopped paying for cable service.
Despite the abundance of media coverage of and investor attention to services like Sling TV, research firm SNL Kagan said there will still be more than 90 million households in the next three to five years who have a pay-TV bundle.
SNL Kagan says pay tv market will still be over 90M households in 3-5 years, Dish CTO says. #hellobundle— Chris Ciaccia (@Chris_Ciaccia) January 5, 2016
Still, younger consumers are increasingly turning away from pay-TV service. During the presentation, Sling said only 64% of Millennial households are currently subscribing to traditional pay-TV, about 20% less than other generations.
Sling, which said it was keeping its core package at $20 a month despite the industry standard of raising prices every year, said it tends to skew younger than traditional pay-TV providers.
Sling tv customer profile. Millennials over index towards sling tv. Still no concrete subscriber details tho pic.twitter.com/rBR0WKLCNc— Chris Ciaccia (@Chris_Ciaccia) January 5, 2016
Yet for all the hype surrounding the service, it isn't widely used.
On an August 2015 earnings call, Dish said Sling TV had 169,000 subscribers at the end of March. Rough estimates have put the service somewhere near half a million subscribers, though the company has never confirmed that publicly.
Dish's Sling TV is just one of many services geared toward a younger and more cost-conscious consumer, one who doesn't want to pay for channels he or she does not watch.
Last year, Verizon (VZ) introduced Go90, a similar service geared towards Millennials.
Apple (AAPL) was thought to be preparing to introduce a similar service in 2016, but Bloomberg reported last year the service had been suspended after Apple could not come to terms with content creators on pricing.