AT&T President: DIRECTV NOW is Part of Portfolio, But Not Primary Focus
At today’s Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Telecom and Media Conference, AT&T Mobility and Entertainment President David Christopher made it clear that while there is a certain customer for DIRECTV NOW, they’ve deemphasized the product. “There is no one size fits all in the video landscape. You need a portfolio to meet customer needs. That DIRECTV NOW product fits for certain people don’t want to have a full cable bundle, don’t want to have a satellite bundle. They’re more price conscious, they don’t want a contract,” said Christopher.
It appears though it’s no longer their primary focus. “We have emphasized it slightly less than we did when it first launched because we are focused more on other elements of the portfolio.” What AT&T appears to be most excited about is their upcoming thin client, which will allow customers to get DirecTV without the need of a satellite dish.
In March, DIRECTV NOW introduced two new plans — PLUS and MAX, which removed A+E, AMC, & Discovery channels, while bundling HBO in both packages. According to Christopher, they’ve been pleased with the change. “We have priced that product up because we wanted to get the content and the revenue aligned…so it’s more profitable. We’re really pleased with the two need products.”
Earlier this month, John Donovan, AT&T Communications CEO spoke about the company’s upcoming streaming version of the DIRECTV service. He feels that “it radically reshapes what your concept of television is.” Donovan continued, “We think we’re going to be really disruptive in the market on features and capability, but we need to evolve our product — and that’s the way we want to do it.”
He said there is a big addressable market of customers that want DIRECTV, but due to line of sight, couldn’t in the past. “We can now call them back up and say, we now have a great opportunity for you.”