The next AT & T streaming service will offer three different subscription levels when launched in late 2019.
The first level will feature films from the WarnerMedia catalog, while the second will feature WarnerMedia TV series and "hit movies," according to WarnerMedia. The Hollywood journalist. The third level, and apparently the most expensive, will combine films from this library catalog with original series. This will likely include HBO programming, which AT & T sees as a big gain for subscribers.
The third batch will also include "more content licensed from third parties" in the future. AT & T CEO Randall Stephenson did not suggest the cost of each level.
WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey told reporters that the ultimate goal is for subscribers to want to access all three levels, while starting at a point that suits them financially. It's essentially a bundle, but instead of the subscribers choosing from different cable packages, everything is available via a first-level streaming subscription. The largest expenditures will provide members with original television programming and access to WarnerMedia's large library of movies and TV series.
The AT & T and WarnerMedia multicast approach may sound familiar – this is exactly what Disney apparently seeks to accomplish. Disney will also launch its Autonomous Streaming Service in the fall of 2019, but The Hollywood journalist notes that the company plans to consolidate two other leading services, Hulu and ESPN +, to provide consumers with digital package options.
Disney owns ESPN and will become Hulu's largest shareholder when its 21st Century Fox acquisition is finalized. Disney could then offer a package similar to what AT & T wants to accomplish with its streaming service.
This is a gesture that makes sense when we look at the current streaming space and what will happen. More and more companies are launching stand-alone streaming applications to compete with giants like Amazon and Netflix, including retailers such as Wal-Mart and niche platforms such as VRV from Crunchyroll. Consumers only have a percentage of their monthly or annual entertainment budget. Companies such as Disney and AT & T, which offer discounted bundles to multiple service subscribers, are one way to attract consumers to a supersaturated market.
Disney has not officially announced plans to consolidate its services, but CEO Bob Iger has hinted in previous investor calls that the company is willing to explore these options. Now, with AT & T and WarnerMedia suggesting that this is the path they want to borrow, it seems more than likely that Disney will announce something similar because the launch date of its own streaming service is approaching.