The streaming wars are changing the landscape of entertainment and mass communications. With every vying for our attention (which translates to our dollar), major companies are looking like they’re inching closer and closer to becoming monopolies. What this is doing is watering down a concept that was just a niche only a few years ago. Big networks are waking up to the fact that cord cutting is big bucks.
With brands like Pandora, GrubHub, and Netflix, our taste preferences are being catered to in every way imaginable. Whether it’s T-Mobile offering free Netflix, Spotify users getting discounts on Hulu, or Amazon offering free anime, there’s something for everyone out there…that is if they’re willing to pay for it.
As brands merge to become mega-brands, they are inheriting many assets that helped other companies become household names. AT&T is at the forefront of gobbling up entertainment and data enterprises. While AT&T gets further in bed with WarnerMedia, the future of DirecTV and DirecTV Now are now in doubt.
Why is DIRECTV Now in Danger?
The WarnerMedia, AT&T venture is bringing together a massive vision that two separate entities once had. With their vast movie catalog, WarnerMedia has been tinkering with the concept of a free service that would be supported by ads. As talks of a merger intensified, AT&T bought-in on the vision.
DirecTV owners, AT&T, already have years of over-the-top (OTT) experience under their belts. Their DirecTV Now service was one of the first to offer a bridge from traditional broadcasting options to a complete OTT service.
Realizing that there’s no need to make multiple streaming services, AT&T has decided to re-brand their entire communications and data sector. This decision will most likely see DirecTV Now and its assets become one with the upcoming AT&T and WarnerMedia streaming service.
What Does The AT&T Merger Mean for DirecTV Now Customers?
Right now, don’t worry about anything. AT&T is looking at long-term plans. While nothing is concrete, DirecTV Now going away looks inevitable. With that being said, it’s not in the foreseeable future.
Your best bet is to wait and see how things play out. It appears that AT&T wants to make the service a lot like Hulu’s current model. They are looking at a live television service that would mirror a lot of the functions that made DirecTV Now a pioneer and lasting success in the world of streaming.
From there, they plan on using the robust WarnerMedia catalog to fill out an on-demand catalog. The service is predicted to have some free on-demand television. After, insiders expect a $16 or $17 pay service with big-name networks. Lastly, a live television service would probably put the service around current DirecTV Now rates.
Thin DirecTV Service Coming First
To make things even more confusing, AT&T plans on launching an over-the-top (OTT) live television version of DirecTV. This service would be just live television. Therefore, no on-demand, DVR, or other cable-like functions.
This service will be under the DirecTV name and is being differentiated from DirecTV Now. All of these changes are expected to happen before the launch of the AT&T and WarnerMedia streaming service.