Smaller cable packages — or none at all — have become more popular with Americans as consumers increasingly look to pay for only what they actually want to watch. Given the change, it’s not surprising that multiple companies — even steadfast cable and satellite companies — are hoping to snatch up some of the cord-cutter crowd. Now, AT&T has announced that it will introduce three new options for streaming DirecTV video content in late 2016.
The upcoming offers consist of DirecTV Now, DirecTV Mobile, and DirecTV Preview, which are described by AT&T as being “designed for customers looking for premium content with choice and flexibility in what they want to watch and how they want to watch it.” They will serve as lower-cost alternatives to traditional pay-TV service, allowing consumers to avoid annual contracts, satellite dishes, and set-top boxes. Users will be able to sign up, download the corresponding app, and access content from virtually any device, from smartphones to PCs to smart TVs. AT&T has not yet announced how much each service will cost.
The new streaming options’ offerings range from free, ad-supported VOD content to live programming, and more. Much of what users currently find on DirecTV will be available with DirecTV Now, including on-demand and live programming from various networks, as well as any desired add-ons, according to AT&T. The company intends to offer multiple content packages, giving customers the ability to choose the best fit for their interests. It sounds like it will rival Dish’s Sling TV, which saw its subscriber base continue to rise in 2015 to well over one million users.
DirecTV Mobile, on the other hand, will focus on a mobile-first user experience, as the name suggests. Viewers will be able to find premium video and made-for-digital content and watch it on their smartphones. Meanwhile, DirecTV Preview will be an ad-supported service with a selection of DirecTV content that can be viewed for free.
“These new video subscription models reflect the flexible content choices, viewing options and simple, transparent pricing that consumers want,” said John Stankey, CEO of AT&T Entertainment Group in a press release. “These offers will provide a broad range of customers with greater freedom and choice to watch, binge and even buy premium content, regardless of how and where they enjoy their entertainment.”
The new streaming options are expected to be available starting in Q4 2016.