Paying attention pays off! Amid all the excitement about AT&T’s planned acquisition of Time Warner, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson revealed that DirecTV Now will roll out in November. AT&T announced the service in March as one of three online streaming services the company planned to introduce.
When it first teased DirecTV Now, AT&T said there would be a variety of packages that included both live and on-demand content. There would also be premium add-ons just like your regular cable subscription, as well as services like Sling TV. Stephenson didn’t elaborate on any specifics about channel choices or add-ons, but during an interview with CNBC he did say there would be a 100 channel bundle. Stephenson also said during a call with market analysts discussing the Time Warner deal that DirecTV Now would be a “mobile-centric product.”
It’s not clear if DirecTV Now will have other, smaller bundles than the 100 channel lineup, or if this would be the baseline. By comparison, Sling TV’s core packages list less than 50 channels that vary based on whether you buy the single- or multiple-device subscription. PlayStation Vue, meanwhile, offers just under 60 channels in its base package. Check out our Sling TV vs. PlayStation Vue showdown for more details on those services.
As for DirecTV Now pricing, Stephenson isn’t ready to say anything about that either. The AT&T chief did claim to CNBC that DirecTV Now will be priced “radically lower” than competing premium live TV streaming services, following up a claim in earlier October that the service will launch with a “very, very aggressive price.” But without any details it’s hard to know just how accurate that claim is.
The impact on you at home: AT&T sounds particularly excited about DirecTV Now, and sees a future where users will be able to easily create and share content clips with friends over messaging and social networks. Before any of that happens, however, AT&T will have to win over new users. One way to do that would be to offer simplified pricing, which is overly complicated on Sling TV and PlayStation Vue. An impressive 100 channel lineup (not just DogTV and other niche channels), cloud-based DVR, and a reliable service during high-demand times would also help.