One year after launching, AT&T’s DirecTV Now over-the-top TV streaming service has surpassed 1 million subscribers, according to the telco. However, those gains haven’t offset steep pay-TV losses on the satellite and telco side of the house.
AT&T has lured DirecTV Now customers with special promotional pricing and giveaways of devices like Apple TV and Roku players. It remains to be seen if customers stick with the service once the discounts roll off, although AT&T has continued to introduce aggressive promotions for DirecTV Now.
The telco is promising to launch new features for DirecTV Now in the next few months that are currently in beta testing. Those include a cloud-based DVR to record and watch shows “virtually anywhere,” according to AT&T, as well as 4K Ultra HD video, capacity for more than 35,000 on demand titles, individual profiles and “an even better user experience.”
By comparison, Dish Network’s Sling TV — one of the first internet pay-TV services to launch in the U.S. — had 1.7 million subscribers as of the third quarter, according to estimates by Wall Street firm Guggenheim Securities. Sony’s PlayStation Vue had 455,000, YouTube TV was at 325,000, Hulu’s live TV service had 150,000 and FuboTV had around 100,000, per Guggenheim.
As of the end of September, AT&T reported 787,000 subscribers for DirecTV Now. The telco posted its worst quarter to date in Q3 for losses of traditional pay-TV subs, dropping 385,000 DirecTV satellite and U-verse TV customers. AT&T blamed the hemorrhaging on increased competition from pay-TV rivals and over-the-top services, as well as implementing stricter credit standards and “hurricane disruptions.”
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SOURCE: Variety, Todd Spangler