Sometimes I forget people have regular TV. It’s been too long. AT&T’s next-gen TV platform is supposed to drop for DirecTV Now subscribers first although we haven’t got any firm details on when. CEO Randall Stephenson, at the latest earnings meeting, has confirmed this “next-gen” DirecTV Now will launch in spring of 2018 with features like a cloud-based DVR, “3rd-stream and interface upgrades. Beta testers have been using this new system since late 2017.
Things haven’t been looking good for AT&T’s TV offering lately. While they added a net 161,000 American video subs in the fourth quarter of the year it’s only due to the 368,000 DirectTV Now subs they gained reaching nearly 1.2 million. Engadget was nice enough to do some rough math here, because I wasn’t going to, and worked out the traditional TV gains actually would equal a loss if Now stayed perfectly flat.
With so many kids in the streaming services pool these days now is a perfect time for AT&T to start throwing some bones to their DirecTV Now service. No matter what they do though this really looks like the writing is on the wall for the future of traditional television services.