Yesterday AT&T held their annual analysts days to discuss upcoming strategies for the 2019 year. During that talk, AT&T warned analysts that DIRECTV NOW will likely lose subscribers in the 4th quarter of 2018 and into 2019. Yet they still expect increased profitability in streaming video thanks to recent DIRECTV NOW price hikes and lower content costs.
AT&T also said the higher profitability will come from adjustments to promotions likely meaning the end of many popular offers like the 3 months for $10 and an Apple TV if you prepay for three or four months. AT&T has also ended their $15 credit for DIRECTV NOW if you are an Unlimited Wireless Customer. Current customers can still get the bundle, but new ones will not be able to add the deal. (So don’t expect these deals to return anytime soon.)
DIRECTV NOW has already seen a huge decline in new subscribers in the 3rd quarter of 2018 with just 49,000 new subscribers. That is a huge drop compared to the same time in 2017 when DIRECTV NOW gained 342,000 subscribers.
AT&T is already considering a second price hike according to AT&T’s Chief Executive Randall Stephenson who when asked about DIRECTV NOW’s price said that “for the long haul probably still too low.” The good news is that it is also being reported that DIRECTV NOW is looking into smaller cheaper DIRECTV NOW bundles. This could be to offset the costs of a possible second price hike.
The last possible reason for AT&T to expect a decline in DIRECTV NOW subscribers is a new streaming version of DIRECTV. They may be hoping a streaming only version of DIRECTV will keep customers from cutting the cord.
Do you have DIRECTV NOW? Do you plan to drop the service? Leave us a comment and let us know.
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