Is There a Telecom Clash on the Horizon?

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This year will witness one of the biggest telecom battles in recent times as AT&T® prepares to roll out its new streaming OTT product to combat Disney’s new release. However, AT&T® does not consider the OTT product as the final frontier of supremacy in one of the best cable deals that is on the cards. The unnamed application will feature content from HBO®, the Warner Bros. library, and many more. It is going to be a three-tiered service. The first core with movies, the second with blockbuster movies and original programming, and the third layer with the library’s content.

Turner chief Kevin Reilly said, “Our initial launch will be a beta product in Q4, and we’ll ramp up and refine the service through 2020.” AT&T®, which is also one of the cheapest cable providers in the US, is bracing itself for the release amid the upcoming releases of similar offerings by Apple and Disney® this year and NBCUniversal® preparing something similar for the beginning of 2020.

However, “this is not a zero-sum game,” said Reilly. “Our mission is to offer consumers an excellent, differentiated alternative to be one of their new choices.” He also added that they are not looking to capsize any other streaming giants with their product.

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“We’re not looking to battle with Disney®. This is going to be its own differentiated service. AT&T’s new service is not a defensive move against Netflix®, nor is it a hedge against Turner.” He further said, “We don’t need to beat Netflix®. We just need, and desire, to offer a differentiated alternative.”

The new product though, is guaranteed to offer “virtually something for everyone,” Reilly remarked. There will be content exclusively for kids (shows from Hanna-Barbera, Cartoon Network®, and Looney Tunes), family, teens, and adults. Apart from these, there will also be shows, films, and documentaries from Warner’s library of films. There will also be famous shows like Friends and Big Bang Theory.

Reilly will start creating original content for these individual audience segments but these are expected to be ready by 2020 and 2021. Disney®, meanwhile, is preparing to roll out its dedicated original content when it will release its OTT product this year. “We are building a much broader service than what I understand the Disney® product to be,” Reilly said. “From the get-go, it will be seen as two different choices.”

When asked if the platform will share the content of DCEU, which is also a part of WarnerMedia, he said, “We’re working on the particulars on that right now,” said Reilly. “We want to respect and build off that fandom.”

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