AT & T’s upcoming streaming service will offer three different subscription tiers when it launches in late 2019.
The first level will offer movies from the WarnerMedia catalog, while the second level will offer the WarnerMedia television series and “hit movies,” according to The hollywood reporter. The third level, and apparently the most expensive, will combine the movies in that library catalog with the original series. This will supposedly include HBO shows, which AT&T is touting as a huge gain for subscribers.
The third pack will also include “more third party licensed content” eventually. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson did not suggest what each tier would cost.
WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey told reporters that the ultimate goal is for subscribers to want access to all three tiers, but start at a point where they are financially comfortable. It’s essentially a bundled package, but instead of subscribers choosing between different cable packages, everything is available through a top-tier streaming membership. Spending the best dollars will provide members with original television shows and access to WarnerMedia’s vast library of movies and television series.
It’s exactly what Disney supposedly wants to do
AT&T and WarnerMedia’s approach to packet streaming may sound familiar – it’s exactly what Disney is looking to accomplish. Disney is also set to launch its standalone streaming service in Fall 2019, but The hollywood reporter notes that the company is looking to bundle into two other prominent services, Hulu and ESPN +, to offer digital bundle options for consumers.
Disney owns ESPN and will become Hulu’s majority shareholder once its acquisition of 21st Century Fox completes. Disney could then offer a package similar to what AT&T wants to achieve with its streaming service.
It’s a move that makes sense when looking at the current broadcast space and what’s to come. More and more companies are launching standalone streaming apps to compete against giants like Amazon and Netflix, including retailers like Wal-Mart and specialty platforms like Crunchyroll’s VRV. Consumers only have a percentage of their monthly or annual budget that they can spend on entertainment. Companies like Disney and AT&T launch packages, which supposedly would offer a discounted price for people who signed up for multiple services, is a way to attract consumers in an oversaturated market.
Disney hasn’t officially announced its plans to bundle its services, but CEO Bob Iger suggested in previous calls from investors that the company is open to exploring those options. Now, with AT&T and WarnerMedia suggesting that’s the path they want to go, it seems more than likely that Disney will announce something similar as the launch date for its own streaming service approaches.