Amp, Liquid, Optiv and Pulse are some of the latest AT&T-related trademarks to have been filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
The trademarks are specifically listed as “Amp By AT&T TV,” “Liquid By AT&T TV,” “Optiv By AT&T TV” and “Pulse By AT&T TV.”
On first impressions, and considering the “TV” element, the trademarks would point to possible name candidates for various TV-related services that might become available in the future through AT&T. Even more so considering each trademark is listed as an “entertainment service” that provide “entertainment programs and content.”
It might also be assumed these trademarks are related to the upcoming WarnerMedia streaming service.
AT&T has already indicated that service will feature at least three different tiers and so it might stand to reason these trademarks relate to those tiers.
However, that’s apparently not the case. Cablefax, who first reported on the trademarks state a confirmation that these trademarks are unrelated to WarnerMedia. This is possibly why the trademarks lack a direct reference to the “WarnerMedia” branding and instead focus on the “AT&T TV” branding.
Trademarks on “AT&T TV” originally date back to 1999 on the USPTO although most of those filings are now considered “dead” with the company having refiled the trademark in March of 2018 just before the purchase of Time Warner by AT&T was officially complete. In addition, trademarks for “AT&T Advanced TV” and “AT&T Mobile TV” had previously been filed although only the “AT&T Mobile TV” trademark remains live as of today.
Trademark filings on their own or not reliable indications that a feature or service is due to come to market. Companies, for a variety of reasons, opt to file trademarks and so these could just be evidence of protection of these service brand names.
AT&T, however, has also made it clear that 2019 is likely to be a significant year for the company’s video-related services. As well as the introduction of the WarnerMedia streaming service in late 2019, the company also currently plans to reinvent its DIRECTV NOW solution.
Something that seems even more needed this year considering recent data reports have pointed to a degree of brand stagnation. For example, DIRECTV NOW was credited with only having picked up 205,000 subscribers year-over-year while both Hulu and YouTube’s competing options are understood to have picked up 500,000 and 400,000, respectively, in the fourth quarter of 2018 alone.
Details on this re-imagining are still quite light although like the WarnerMedia solution, it won't be out of the realms of possibility for AT&T to continue with a multiple-tier approach. DIRECTV NOW is currently offered in four main packages (excluding foreign language solutions) — “Live a little,” “Just right,” “Go big” and “Gotta have it” — and that’s the same number of options that have now been trademarked. It might be possible these trademarks are related to a revamped DIRECTV NOW and possibly even one that results in the dropping of the “DIRECTV NOW” name altogether.
This multiple tiered design does seem to be key to AT&T’s forward-thinking video ambitions as it will act as a means to attack various different price points, appealing to an increased number of consumers and budgets.
There’s already evidence of this approach in use by AT&T who introduced its “WatchTV” service back in 2018. This was marketed as an entity separate to the more mainstream DIRECTV NOW solution and one that directly looks to tap into the budget-friendly live TV streaming market segment – where other companies, such as Philo, have already seen success with.