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Despite its problems, DirecTV Now topped 200K subscribers in its first month

Why it matters to you

If you were worried that AT&T wouldn't prioritize fixing DirecTV Now's issues, its subscriber growth means it's probably a major priority.

DirecTV Now launched in November and both cord-cutters and those who were simply curious signed up for the free trial, only to be met with various glitches, dropouts, and other streaming errors. Annoying as they were, those issues apparently weren’t bad enough to drive off a fair number of those who tried the live TV streaming service, as it managed to top 200,000 subscribers in its first month.

Those numbers come from an AT&T filing with the SEC released on Friday, where the company states that DirecTV Now — which launched on November 30 — had racked up more than 200,000 subscribers by December 31. The company points out in the filing that this includes only paying customers.

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When the service launched, it used a few tactics to draw in customers. The first was a limited-time offer of the service’s Go Big package, which offers more than 100 channels, for $35 per month. That offer has since ended, but customers who signed up at that price get to keep it, at least for the immediate future. The company also offered free hardware, including the latest version of the Apple TV and the Amazon Fire TV Stick to customers who committed to the service for a set amount of time.

The above offers might count for a sizable portion of the subscribers, as the service launched with bugs and errors, many of which still remain. Customers have repeatedly complained about “Error 60” messages, which mean too many streams are being used at once (the service supports two streams at once), even when only a single viewer is watching. Performance issues also continue to plague the service.

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“With any new technology there are going to be fixes that need to be made,” AT&T said in a statement released earlier this month. “While we understand we still have work to do, overall feedback on DirecTV Now has been very positive. We’re continuously updating the app to provide a better experience for customers. We encourage customer to keep the app updated.”

It’s expected for any company having issues with a service to promise that things will get better, but the subscriber numbers mean its much more likely that AT&T will prioritize fixing its streaming issues. If you like DirecTV Now enough to keep it — or if you just want to hold on to that $35 price for as long as possible — it is nice to know that the service is likely to receive some much needed fixes.

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