In short: AT&T has confirmed plans to launch a new streaming service late next year. The details on the service are fairly vague at the moment although the paperwork confirming the service does seem to indicate this new streaming service will be a direct result of AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner and the subsequent formation of WarnerMedia. The expected launch time for the new streaming service is the fourth quarter of 2019.
Background: AT&T already has streaming service options available to consumers through its DIRECTV NOW service, and its newer, and more budget-oriented WatchTV service. However, AT&T has today filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission stating its intention to launch a new “direct-to-consumer streaming service” in the latter part of next year. Again, the filing does not provide any in-depth information regarding the service, how much it will cost, or what it will specifically offer, although it does made clear the service will focus on “offering a new choice for entertainment” based on Warner Media content. As well as stating how the new service will “complement” AT&T’s existing solutions, and that it will arrive as a “compelling product.”
Impact: Although this announcement is effectively detailing a service which won't arrive until this time next year, that in itself argues the intent behind the service and how AT&T is looking to ensure the product is fully developed and highly market-ready when it does arrive, instead of looking to push the product out as soon as possible to capitalize as early as possible in what is already becoming a very crowded market. Marking a more thought-out approach and one that’s similar in nature to how Disney has approached its own streaming service. Ever since AT&T purchased Time Warner there has been speculation on how it will best utilize the assets gained and now it's clear AT&T will look to offer another streaming option which focuses more on the content owned by Warner Media as a single, but complete package, in comparison to DIRECTV NOW or WatchTV which collates different content from different networks and channels – and one that's sold directly to consumers.