×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

AT&T Says DirecTV Now’s Streaming Service Has Topped 1 Million Subscribers

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.”

Half of DirecTV Now’s customers have come from traditional pay-TV rivals, with 10% from DirecTV or U-verse and the rest representing “cord-nevers,” who have not previously had pay television, AT&T CFO John Stephens told analysts on the Q3 earnings call. He also said the company expects to post a net subscriber gain in its traditional pay-TV biz for Q4 — after shedding 996,000 net subscribers for the 12-month period ended Sept. 30.

To drive subs to DirecTV Now, AT&T has continued rolling out new offers and promotions. Currently, customers who prepay for four months of DirecTV Now are eligible to receive a free Apple TV 4K set-top, while those who prepay for one month can get a free Roku Streaming Stick. Also, timed for the one-year anniversary of DirecTV Now’s debut, new customers can get a $25 credit for their first month of service for any package using the “BDAY2017” promo code.

AT&T also has touted DirecTV Now’s expansion of local broadcast channels, which has topped 200 after the telco added CBS and the CW stations in several markets in September under an agreement with CBS. DirecTV Now offers local channels in nearly 90 markets, delivering at least one local broadcast station in areas representing 80% of U.S. TV households.

Separately, AT&T is engaged in a legal fight with the U.S. Department of Justice over its planned $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner, which it had expected to close by the end of 2017.

More Digital

  • BTF Media, Vince Gerardis Pact Sign

    NATPE: BTF Media, Vince Gerardis Pact for Six Projects (EXCLUSIVE)

    MIAMI — BTF Media, producer of breakout series “Hasta Que te Conocí” and “El Secreto de Selena,” is teaming with Vince Gerardis, a co-executive producer with George Martin on “Game of Thrones,” on a six-project co-production alliance. Spearheaded at BTF Media by founder-partner Ricardo Coeto, the agreement takes in the development and co-production of the [...]

  • Bob Bakish Variety Cover Story

    Viacom Has Acquired Pluto TV Streaming Service for $340M

    Viacom has acquired Los Angeles-based video streaming service Pluto TV for $340 million in cash, both companies confirmed Tuesday. “Today marks an important step forward in Viacom’s evolution, as we work to move both our company and the industry forward,” said Viacom CEO Bob Bakish in a statement. “Pluto TV’s unique and market-leading product, combined [...]

  • Bob PittmanVariety Entertainment Summit at CES,

    iHeartMedia Bankruptcy Plan Approved, CEO Bob Pittman's Contract Renewed

    A U.S. court has approved the bankruptcy plan of iHeartMedia, the biggest radio broadcaster in the U.S., which will shave down its crushing debt load and separate iHeartMedia from Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings. The company said chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and Rich Bressler, president, COO and CFO, have extended their contracts by four years. [...]

  • Instagram Logo

    Netflix Lets iOS Users Share Movies, Shows to Instagram Stories

    Netflix is tapping into Instagram Stories for some word-of-mouth promotion: The streaming video service rolled out a new Instagram integration Tuesday that allows iOS users to share their favorite movies and TV shows via Stories. To do so, users simply select the title of their choice within the Netflix iOS app, and then share it [...]

  • Brian Lockhart - ESPN+

    ESPN Hires NFL Media's Brian Lockhart to Head ESPN+ Original Content

    ESPN recruited Brian Lockhart, who has spent more than a decade at NFL Media, as executive producer of original content for the ESPN+ subscription-streaming service. Lockhart will oversee strategy and development for all ESPN+ original programming initiatives, including new projects as well as existing shows such as “Detail,” “More Than an Athlete,” “The Board Room,” [...]

  • Roma

    Netflix Joins the Motion Picture Association of America

    UPDATED WASHINGTON — Netflix has joined the Motion Picture Association of America, a move that reflects its evolution as a major player in the movie business. The MPAA currently has six major studios as members, and it collected about $38 million in membership dues in 2017, according to its most recent filing with the IRS. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content