Recent reports have indicated that AT&T’s new streaming service, DirecTV Now, may be seeing slowing growth. But don’t count it out just yet. This week, AT&T announced it’s expanding its distribution strategy for the service by bundling in with the wireless carrier’s Unlimited Choice plan for only $10 more per month.
The move is largely meant to entice customers to switch carriers, but it could also help AT&T boost its DirecTV Now subscriber base, by making the add-on of live TV streaming more of a no-brainer for customers.
The same promotion was originally available only in AT&T’s Unlimited Plus plan. That’s the $90 per month plan offering unlimited data, talk and text, high-def video, plus 10 GB of Wi-Fi tethering per phone (with speeds that slow after 22 GB of data usage per line.) Oh, and free HBO.
The Unlimited Choice plan is a step down from that at $60 per month, taking into account discounts for autopay and paperless billing. It offers standard-def video and max speed of 3Mbps in addition to unlimited talk, text and data (also with slowed speeds after 22 GB of data.)
The $10 deal for DirecTV Now comes about by discounting the streaming service’s $35 per month entry-level plan, “Live a Live.”
The promotion includes a $25 video credit, essentially making the cost of subscribing to DirecTV Now only $10 per month, on top of your wireless bill.
The “Live a Little” plan is a decent bundle, providing access to over 60 channels, including broadcast networks ABC, NBC, and Fox in select markets, as well as a number of top cable channels, like BBC, AMC, A&E, Bravo, Bloomberg, CNN, CNBC, Comedy Central, Discovery, Disney Channel (including Disney Junior, and XD), E!, ESPN, FX, Lifetime, MTV, Nat Geo, Nickelodeon, Syfy, TBS, TCM, TLC, TNT, VH1, USA, and many others.
DirecTV Now can be streamed via iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV/Fire TV Stick, Chromecast, and select Roku devices, as well as on the web.
At launch, the service faced a number of glitches, like buffering and freezing issues. It has a basic user interface that may not be breaking new ground, but also isn’t overly designed, like Hulu’ve live TV service. It doesn’t have a recording feature and DVR, either. But for $10 per month, it’s easier to overlook these sorts of problems.
However, the $25 video credit doesn’t have to be used towards DirecTV Now, says AT&T. It can also be applied to its TV services, DirecTV or U-verse TV, if you choose.
AT&T invested in mobile video because of the market’s growth, the company says. “Video now makes up more than half of our mobile traffic with 75% growth between 2015 and 2016 alone,” the announcement reads.” We expect video traffic to become a major driver of growth in 2020.”