After losing over $50 billion on a series of failed forays into content production and distribution, AT&T was forced to start selling stakes in its recently acquired media assets or risk weakening its monopolistic grip on telecom and internet delivery.
AT&T’s decision to acquire a declining DirecTV in 2015 and a bloated WarnerMedia in 2018 were massive miscalculations. Desperate to pay down its debt, in March 2021, AT&T announced it would sell a 30% stake in DirecTV.
As a result of diminishing content availability precipitated by production delays and cancellations, there will be large programming gaps for traditional television networks and OTT platforms to fill over the next two years.
Since first delivering DVDs to homes via the postal service, Netflix has come to dominate the SVOD market. The streamer has 67 million subscribers in North America, which takes its total to nearly 160 million worldwide.
AT&T’s WarnerMedia released details about its forthcoming streaming service HBO Max, which will officially launch in May 2020. The service will cost $14.99 a month, the same cost as HBO’s flagship service.
Apple TV+ subscription service will launch on November 1st for $4.99 a month. However, with only a handful of shows available, it will not frustrate the launch of Disney+ or challenge Netflix in a meaningful way.
Part One: Netflix Subscribers and Exclusivity. Netflix lost subscribers in the United States for the first time in nearly a decade. The next battleground in streaming will take place over content exclusivity.