×

AT&T Exec Casts Doubt on Skinny Bundles

AT&T and DirecTV aren’t looking to launch skinny bundles any time soon, said AT&T’s SVP of strategy and business development Tony Goncalves during his keynote appearance at the TV of Tomorrow Show Wednesday. “This notion of skinny is fine, until the economics don’t work,” he quipped.

Goncalves commended competitor Dish for its efforts with Sling TV, but said that his company didn’t believe in this approach. “A skinny bundle for you might be very different from a skinny bundle for me,” he said, arguing that skinny and personalized bundles just aren’t scalable. He later told Variety during an interview at the sidelines of the event that he expects the market to change significantly in the future. “Skinny will turn to fat sooner or later,” he said.

AT&T announced in March that it is looking to launch three streaming services under the DirecTV brand later this year. One of these, dubbed DirecTV Now, will include all the content found typically in a regular bundle, but streamed to consumers both on mobile and internet-connected devices. “We want to have the ability to give them pay TV as an app,” Goncalves said. “We got to un-tether it from a set-top box.”

In addition, AT&T aims to launch an ad-supported service called DirecTV Preview and a mobile-centric service dubbed DirecTV Mobile. The latter is a response to the growing appetite for mobile content AT&T already sees. More than 50 percent of AT&Ts consumers have been consuming content on mobile since the merger, he said.

Goncalves characterized DirecTV Preview as an answer to the popularity of YouTube and other free streaming services on the web, adding that the plan was to also include web-exclusive content from existing TV networks. “There is lots of short-form content related to the long-form content,” he said.

DirecTV Preview will likely also feature some content from Otter Media, the joint venture between the operator and the Chernin Group that operates Fullscreen as well as Crunchyroll and other youth-focused media services.

Goncalves called Otter “extremely important” to AT&T, and suggested that we will see the operator putting more of its weight behind Otter’s online services in the near future. This could be in form of bundled apps or other promotions as well as straight up content distribution efforts, he said. “We are a pretty huge distribution machine.”

More Digital

  • Spotify logo is presented on a

    U.S. Consumers to Spend $26 Billion on Music, Video Subscriptions This Year

    U.S. consumers are expected to spend a combined $26 billion on music and video subscription services this year, according to new estimates from the Consumer Technology Association. That’s up from $20.4 billion in 2018, and nearly twice the amount spent on such services in 2017. Propelled by the continued success of Apple Music and Spotify, [...]

  • New AirTV Mini improves cord-cutting experience

    Dish’s AirTV Releases New Android TV Streaming Stick

    Dish’s AirTV subsidiary is releasing a new streaming device designed to combine over-the-air broadcast TV with the company’s Sling TV service and other streaming services. The new AirTV Mini streaming stick looks similar to a Fire TV stick, and is powered by Google’s Android TV software. The AirTV Mini stick is 4K-capable, allowing consumers to [...]

  • BMI Promotes David Levin to Senior

    BMI Promotes David Levin to Senior VP of Licensing

    BMI today announced that David Levin has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Licensing, effective immediately. In his newly expanded role, Levin is responsible for all of BMI’s domestic licensing and revenue generation, encompassing radio, television, digital media, cable, satellite and general licensing.  Levin, who will oversee teams in New York and Nashville, reports [...]

  • James Murdoch

    James Murdoch Invests $20 Million in The Void, a Location-Based VR Startup

    James Murdoch, former CEO of 21st Century Fox, has invested $20 million in The Void, a startup specializing in location-based virtual reality (VR) experiences, Variety has confirmed. The funding comes through Murdoch’s Lupa Systems, a holding company that Rupert Murdoch’s younger son established with $1 billion in proceeds from the sale of his stake in 21CF [...]

  • Norah O'Donnell's 'CBS Evening News' Isn't

    Norah O'Donnell's 'CBS Evening News' Isn't Just For TV Viewers

    Norah O’Donnell will make her “CBS Evening News” debut, of course, on TV. But that doesn’t mean CBS News isn’t mindful of the new ways in which news aficionados get their information in an era of smartphone alerts and viral tweets. When O’Donnell launches a new era at the venerable newscast this week, complete with [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content