"AT&T’s network resources bring enhanced opportunities for this new content alliance to create compelling offerings for consumers," proclaims the company. Like Verizon's joint venture with RedBox, AT&T obviously wants to have its own video streaming operation in play as video moves away from traditional coax networks.
AT&T's video streaming attempts have historically been "me too" affairs, ranging from a video portal that was effectively a Hulu clone to the U-Verse Screen Pack, which was touted as a "Netflix killer" but suffered from a limited catalog and is only available to U-Verse users for an additional $5 a month.
AT&T circulated a survey among U-Verse users last year polling interest in a "virtual MSO" that provided a smattering of content and channels "at a significantly lower price than traditional pay TV services."
Whether this new venture results in a quality, consumer friendly video platform is anything but clear. Verizon's streaming joint venture with RedBox was announced with great fanfare, but hasn't been a particularly disruptive presence because Verizon's afraid of cannibalizing their traditional TV subscribers. We've seen a similar problem wherein Hulu never seems to disrupt because its broadcast TV owners don't want it to.
Any AT&T-owned streaming video service would likely operate under the same constraints, unable to innovate in the way Netflix and Amazon have because there's no true interest in disruption. Offer too compelling of an over the top product at an exciting price, and you risk losing your traditional cable customers to the product.
It says 500 MILLION in the title, but in the first paragraph it does say BILLION which is a typo. Going over to the att page it says MILLIONS there...... so just a leetle oopsy on Karl's part there..... -- Follow Your Bliss -- Joseph Cambell I reject your Reality and substitute my own! -- Adam Savage, Mythbuster
2014-Apr-22 7:10 pm: ·
loli Premium join:2002-08-26 South Richmond Hill, NY
Re: Title is correct
Karl getting slightly sloppy lately lol. It would have been amazing to see what kind of netwosk they'd pull with 500 billion.
HBO GO, Verizon's Redbox venture, Dish's Blockbuster streaming, At&t's U-verse clone, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, etc all feel like these companies are getting acquainted with streaming technologies so they're prepared when the time comes that they can make more money via streaming than traditional cable/satellite. I look forward to that day.
1st thought: ATT too incapable against Netflix & Amazon...
2nd thought: Oh, right. No net neutrality in the land of the free. ATT can just start fucking with competitor packets whilst prioritizing their own.
At least their partner Chernin Group is well situated in the content world. If this bird flies it'll be because they are able to wrangle rights deals. Steep hill to climb against Netflix though. Much as I dislike the anti-trust dynamics of ISPs getting involved in content it's difficult to not cheer for advancements in a la carte.
Oh, so they can afford to pour $500 million down the drain on a DOA product, but can't afford to upgrade their peering links (thus making their paying customers happier)? I guess from ATT executives' perspective, deleting $500 million is way better than helping OTT services take away their own video revenue, and who cares about the customers, so why not?
It's not a double standard, but it does show that they are overstating their financial burdens.
In order for an ISP to continue to grow and upgrade their networks (as customers and government regulators alike demand) they do have to make a significant profit, or else upgrades won't be possible. However I don't think profitability is a problem for them in light of this.
The one thing that makes this slightly interesting is the participation of Chernin Group, who last year bought Crunchyroll, one of the real success story in pure-play IP video (they have something like 200K paying subscribers, and lots more just watching ads)