AT&T’s chief executive made an announcement at an investors’ conference in Boston on Tuesday that the company is going to roll out a new version of its online-streaming service, DirecTV Now with new features along with cloud DVR.
The newer version of DirecTV Now is available with a new user interface as well as more premium features. In addition, customers can record up to 20 hours of programs on the Cloud DVR as well as watch up to three streams simultaneously. At the starting, the company will offer a discounted price of 40 USD per month for the new service.
According to the company’s chief executive, Randall Stephenson, by the year-end, the telecom company is planning to offer three different streaming services with various bundles of channels as well as price points that cost between 15 – 90 USD a month. He also said that all these are the part of a business strategy to modify the way how video is distributed, consumed and monetized. Stephenson announced all these at the J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Communications Conference, held on Tuesday.
He also spoke about the entertainment plans of the company as AT&T is waiting for a court ruling over a decision to become the owner of Time Warner. The vast portfolio of movie and TV content, owned by Time Warner, including HBO, Warner Bros., CNN of Time Warner, is the main focus of AT&T’s strategic plans. The Time Warner-AT&T deal is valued at about 109 billion USD, including all debts.
The Justice Department filed a legal appeal for blocking the AT&T-Time Warner merger, claiming that this will result in higher prices for consumers and hurt competitors. Stephenson on Tuesday said that the company hasn’t finished its acquisition aims, and it will possibly announce another acquisition and merger to build up and provide an advertising platform that would deliver targeted ads for the new streaming services.
AT&T is the largest pay-TV service provider in the U.S. with its satellite and cable service options – DirecTV and U-verse. But, like other cable and satellite companies, AT&T has also experienced that the customers are more attracted to cheaper, Internet-based television services, like Hulu, Netflix and Sling TV by Dish.
Citing this consumer behavior, the company responded to it in 2016 by rolling out its own streaming service, DirecTV Now. And, this service has managed to get nearly 1.5 million subscribers.
However, as compared to satellite and cable services, this streaming service has low margins. In this regard, Stephenson said that it can change once AT&T-Time Warner merger gets approved, and AT&T can roll out a new advertising platform. He further said that this new advertising platform will deliver targeted ads to consumers by utilizing their data and analytics, for which, the companies want to pay more.