Customers are “Beta Testers” for an Upcoming Streaming Service

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Customers who use the AT&T® streaming device said that they felt as if they are beta testers for DIRECTV NOW’s new service. The President, Mobility and Entertainment, at AT&T® David Christopher confirmed this is true in a talk with FierceVideo.

“AT&T® built its new streaming box for the service [the new DIRECTV® streaming service] because the company believes it wouldn’t get all the benefits if it had just made the new DIRECTV® service an application,” said Christopher in the interview. FierceVideo added, “Christopher reiterated the benefits that AT&T executives have previously laid out, namely the low-cost piece of hardware that consumers can install, which will help lower the cost of customer acquisition by eliminating the need for truck rolls and installers climbing ladders to put satellite dishes on roofs.”

The Dallas-based telecommunications company has been downplaying its DIRECTV NOW® streaming service in favor of its new WarnerMedia offerings and the DIRECTV® streaming service. AT&T’s planned updates to the DIRECTV NOW®-branded streaming service, such as the DVR add-on which would offer additional storage for a charge, appears to have been dropped. For years, the Dallas-based fastest internet provider talked about add-ons to the former streaming service as a means to make more revenue, but the company executives seldom mention the brand save when asked about it.

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The Chief Executive Officer of AT&T®, Randall Stephenson said that the company plans to launch DIRECTV’s “thin” streaming-only version later this year. While this new service’s price will be lower, Stephenson did not provide any details about how low it would be or which channels it would offer.

As per WarnerMedia’s CEO, John Stankey, AT&T® has ideas to merge its DIRECTV NOW® to the media arm. Later this year, AT&T’s media division renamed from TimeWarner® plans to roll out a Netflix-like service. As per reports, the Telco giant plans to merge it into this streaming offering with a uniform search and UI. This again hints at AT&T® using DIRECTV NOW® beta for its new DIRECTV® service.

Stankey used the word “eventually”, which means it may not take place when the subscription video service of WarnerMedia rolls out later this year. The Telecom company likely plans to combine DIRECTV NOW® into its WarnerMedia division. This is perhaps the reason why we have seen the best internet provider reducing the focus on DIRECTV NOW®. What we know at present is that it is using the streaming service as a beta for its new DIRECTV® offering.

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