AT&T Inc. disclosed that its new movies-only streaming video service that will launch next year with WarnerMedia content will be available in three options.
WarnerMedia plans to launch its initial direct-to-consumer SVOD beta application in the fourth quarter of 2019.The SVOD service will include three levels of service: an entry-level movie-focused package; a premium service with original programming and blockbuster movies; and a third service that bundles content from the first two plus an extensive library of WarnerMedia and licensed content.
The SVOD service will complement WarnerMedia’s existing business. It will benefit its current distribution partners, expand the audience and increase engagement around its content and will also provide data and analytics to inform new products and better monetize content.
The subscription video on demand (SVOD) service will be followed by potentially followed by an advertising-supported video on demand service in the future, AT&T said.
The telecom giant is looking for signs that the company can get a payoff from its $85 billion Time Warner deal.
However, AT&T will face competition. Walt Disney Co. is introducing an online service with Star Wars and Marvel shows around the same time, and Jeffrey Katzenberg has a new short-form video project in the works. But AT&T Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson has to find new ways to retain TV viewers: His DirecTV Now online streaming service is going to lose subscribers this quarter and next, AT&T said.
In September, AT&T said it planned to use Time Warner’s HBO as the anchor for the new online video service and surround it with Warner Bros. shows and films -- and possibly sports programming.
Stankey also suggested that rival video-on-demand services like Netflix and Amazon are facing shorter-length content licenses -- in other words, they won’t have shows and movies locked down for as long. As they lose the rights to well-known entertainment properties, they’re in a race to create more original content.
AT&T faces less of that pressure because it now owns the media libraries of Turner, HBO and Warner Bros., Stankey said.