Are we there yet?
WarnerMedia is bringing its premium video programming to bored kids and other road-weary passengers through WarnerMedia Ride, a new video service for smartphones and tablets connected to in-car Wi-Fi hotspots connected to AT&T’s wireless network — available at no extra cost.
Content in WarnerMedia Ride includes news and sports programming from Bleacher Report, Boomerang, Cartoon Network, CNN, TBS, TNT and other brands. The service will be available for free to U.S. owners of 27 vehicle brands who have AT&T unlimited data connected-car plans. Passengers can download the WarnerMedia Ride app on Apple’s App Store (requires iOS 11 or later) or Google Play (Android 9 or later).
In 2021, AT&T plans to offer the full HBO Max content library of around 10,000 hours of video programming as part of a new bundle of connectivity and content for connected-car data plan subscribers.
What’s the point? AT&T wants to use the WarnerMedia content as a carrot to sign up connected-car customers, while WarnerMedia sees the potential to reach a new captive audience.
AT&T’s flagship partner for the WarnerMedia Ride launch is General Motors. Currently, more than 1 million GM customers subscribe to Wi-Fi-enabled data services provided by AT&T. The service is available to owners of certain models of GM’s Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles.
In addition, WarnerMedia Ride will be available to AT&T in-car wireless subscribers in car brands including: Acura, Alfa Romeo, Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Honda, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Porsche, Rolls Royce, RAM, Subaru, Toyota and Volvo.
The WarnerMedia Ride service is intended for passenger use only when a vehicle is in operation, the companies said. In launching the in-car streaming video service, AT&T is promoting its “It Can Wait” campaign to urge customers to not drive distracted.
AT&T’s in-car Wi-Fi customers already have access to WarnerMedia Audio, which comprises more than 70 podcasts and hundreds of hours of audio content including live audio simulcasts from CNN and other WarnerMedia news networks.
“The addition of WarnerMedia’s library of podcasts, movies and television programming — combined with AT&T’s Wi-Fi connectivity — is just another way we’re enhancing the ownership experience for our customers,” said Santiago Chamorro, VP of GM Global Connected Services, in a statement.
Added Barry Loudis, vice president, WarnerMedia Content Experiences, “This relationship with GM means we can fully connect car owners with new immersive experiences and exclusive content to create meaningful connections for the whole family.”
WarnerMedia Ride includes a new authentication feature that lets users access content once the app detects a vehicle’s Wi-Fi hotspot.
According to GM, its current base of 1 million AT&T data subscribers primarily are families with SUVs like the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade. AT&T and GM have worked together since 2014 on connecting vehicles with high-speed wireless connectivity.