Today, AT&T announced that they will be launching a new direct-to-consumer streaming service next year. AT&T also operates two other streaming services, DirectTV Now and WatchTV. However, they plan to center their new streaming service around WarnerMedia content, including HBO, Turner, and Warner Bros.
This initiative also comes after AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner last June, meaning AT&T also has control over streaming platforms such as HBO Go and HBO Now. HBO Go is an online HBO streamer that requires a cable login, while HBO Now is a service for exclusively HBO content.
This new subscription-based streaming service will offer all of WarnerMedia’s intellectual properties; HBO in addition to all of WarnerMedia’s other TV/movie franchises. The service will also offer some third party licensed entertainment.
Unlike some of AT&T’s other streaming platforms, this service will be primarily focused on providing on-demand content rather than streaming live TV. It’s been framed as a competitor for platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. It also will likely to be a major rival to Disney’s upcoming streaming service, also due to release in 2019.
John Stankey, WarnerMedia’s CEO, discussed the new service today at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit, but didn’t confirm the specifics of the titles and content that would be offered.
DTC price point will be a premium to HBO standalone – but won’t announce till closer in till launch date in late 2019 — John Stankey $T @andrewrsorkin #VFSUMMIT @VanityFair @VFHIVE pic.twitter.com/m7KcuksbSH
— Rich Greenfield (@RichBTIG) October 10, 2018
However, WarnerMedia also owns popular intellectual properties such as “Harry Potter”, “Batman”, “Rick and Morty”, “The Big Bang Theory”, etc.
The service will likely be more expensive than AT&T platforms like HBO Now, but will be competitive with Netflix in terms of content spending. According to a report by Variety magazine, WarnerMedia spends USD$2.5 billion in comparison to Netflix’s USD$8 billion on content.
“This is another benefit of the AT&T/Time Warner merger, and we are committed to launching a compelling and competitive product that will serve as a complement to our existing businesses and help us to expand our reach by offering a new choice for entertainment with the WarnerMedia collection of films, television series, libraries, documentaries and animation loved by consumers around the world, “said Stankey.
The new streaming platform is set to release towards the end of 2019.