NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) — AT&T Inc is preparing to step into the streaming content fray with their own video subscription service with support from Warner Media.
According to Reuters, the new service will be anchored by HBO and will include everything from classic movies like “Casablanca” to television series such as “ER” and “Pretty Little Liars.”
Many of the details for the proposed service are still in the planning phases, Reuters said and AT&T has not yet indicated how it will be staffed or structured.
“Today we announced plans to launch a new direct-to-consumer streaming service in the fourth quarter of 2019. This is another benefit of the AT&T/Time Warner merger, and we are committed to launching a compelling and competitive product that will serve as a complement to our existing businesses and help us to expand our reach by offering a new choice for entertainment with the WarnerMedia collection of films, television series, libraries, documentaries and animation loved by consumers around the world. We expect to create such a compelling product that it will help distributors increase consumer penetration of their current packages and help us successfully reach more customers,” John Stankey, WarnerMedia Chief Executive, said.
In a memo, obtained by Reuters, Stankey said the new service may evolve by bundling other WarnerMedia services, or folding those services into the new platform.
The company has also not yet set a price, Reuters reported.
The proposed AT&T/Warner service is the latest entry into an increasingly crowded market for streaming content delivery and follows similar announcements from companies such as Disney, who touted the launch of its own streaming service in late 2019 as well.
As in the world of recorded music, streaming content delivery is becoming an increasingly important part of the ecosystem as consumers turn away from traditional cable television services.
However, the proliferation of streaming services may make content piracy an attractive option to some consumers as content is increasingly segmented on different delivery platforms.
The deal may also complicate Warner’s relationship with traditional content channels such as major networks and cable providers such as Comcast. While those channels are still significant parts of the consumer ecosystem, the shift to streaming is rapidly eroding their position. Stankey acknowledged that in the memo, writing:
“While going direct-to-consumer gives us an additional opportunity to reach audiences that aren’t part of a traditional subscription service, our wholesale relationships will continue to be an important distribution channel. So, it will be a priority to work with our partners to deliver a compelling and competitive product that will complement our wholesale distribution, allowing us to reach the largest number of viewers.”
AT&T acquired Warner in a deal worth $85.4bn.