Today AT&T announced that DIRECTV NOW added just 49,000 subscribers in the 3rd quarter of 2018. This comes as their traditional pay-TV services like DIRECTV lost 346,000 subscribers. This is a dramatic drop in new subscribers compared to the 2nd quarters of 2018 when DIRECTV NOW added 342,000 subscribers.
Many had expected stronger numbers as it had been reported that DIRECTV NOW would top Sling TV this year when looking at the number of subscribers. Now we have to wait and see if Sling TV saw a similar drop or continued with their growth to see which service will be the largest live TV streaming service.
The drop in new subscribers is likely caused by several factors like increased competition from new live TV streaming services, DIRECTV NOW’s price hike, fewer deals on DIRECTV NOW (for example the end of their Apple TV deal and the end of the 3 months for $10 deal) and a general slow down in the growth of cord cutting overall. Well, cord cutting has never been more popular the rate of growth has slowed. Many have pointed to the very strong economy resulting in Americans not rushing to find cheaper options for TV. Others have pointed to a growing number of cord-cutters who are skipping live TV services in favor of antennas and on-demand services.
Well DIRECTV NOW saw their growth slow other cord cutting services like Hulu and Netflix have reported strong growth. Hulu now has over a million live TV subscribers and Netflix added over a million new subscribers just in the United States in the 3rd quarter of 2018. So cord cutting is still strong even if live TV streaming services don’t seem to be growing as fast as cord cutting overall is.
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