ATT loses another 1.36 million subscribers

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by espaeth, Oct 28, 2019.

  1. Oct 30, 2019 #41 of 127
    dlt4

    dlt4 Godfather

    490
    2
    Oct 4, 2006
    Florida
    Same here. Was offered to me for free in lieu of monetary discount so I took it. But after the season is over I’m switching to YTTV. Actually it’s not free because I’ll save $75/month after switching, but I try not to think about that
     
  2. Oct 31, 2019 #42 of 127
    Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    34,714
    1,649
    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    Articles about AT$T's CEO saying the losses have peaked abound this morning. More BS from a master BS'er.

    Rich
     
    mjwagner and 242424 like this.
  3. Oct 31, 2019 #43 of 127
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

    49,711
    1,843
    Apr 17, 2003
    Michiana
    AT&T subscriber levels have peaked for the foreseeable future.

    I do not recall the subscriber level for HBO Now (soon HBO Max). I expect that number to rise as people shift off of purchasing HBO with another package and buy the service directly.
     
  4. Oct 31, 2019 #44 of 127
    slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

    10,611
    1,519
    Feb 14, 2013
    Iowa
    I think what he's claiming is that going forward they will lose subscribers at a reduced rate, not that they'd start adding subscribers.
     
    NashGuy likes this.
  5. Oct 31, 2019 #45 of 127
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

    49,711
    1,843
    Apr 17, 2003
    Michiana
    DIRECTV satellite losses 4Q17-4Q18:
    -147, -188, -286, -359, -403
    Premium TV losses 1Q19-3Q19:
    -544, -778, -1,163
    Total Subscriber loss 1Q19-3Q19 (includes streaming):
    -627, -946, -1,358

    Trends that need to end.

    The average quarterly loss for 2019 was 977k. If AT&T posts 977k total subscriber loss for 4Q19 will they call that a victory?
    If AT&T continues to lose 828k Premium TV subscribers each quarter (this year's average) they will be out of customers in 2025.
    If AT&T continues to lose 149k streaming subscribers each quarter (this year's average) they will be out of customers in 2021.
    The subscriber losses need to level off.
     
    espaeth likes this.
  6. Oct 31, 2019 #46 of 127
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

    799
    167
    Jan 30, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Yeah. I've read that the subscriber count for HBO Now is about 8 million. I think that number actually reflects all streaming subscriptions to HBO, which would include getting it via Hulu, Prime Video Channels, Apple TV Channels and The Roku Channel too. (Some or all of those options also give you access to the HBO Now app too, even though that's not the way you initiated service.)

    Here's my read of what's going on behind the scenes with HBO Max. HBO has traditionally paid out a very generous cut to their cable distribution partners. I've read that the average wholesale monthly price that MVPDs pay to HBO/AT&T per sub is only about $7.65, with the distributor keeping the other $7.35 out of a typical $15 monthly a la carte fee (although the amount would be less if HBO is sold at a discounted promo rate or as part of an overall discounted bundle deal). My guess is that the profit margin that cable operators retain on Cinemax is even higher; it's essentially a sop that HBO throws to their buddies, which is one reason HBO has never launched a "Max Now" direct-to-consumer standalone streaming version of Cinemax.

    But look at Netflix, who is in many ways the trendsetter and envy of the pay TV world. I guarantee you that Netflix doesn't pay anywhere close to a 50% cut to Comcast or DISH or their other MVPD distribution partners. I'd be surprised if they were even giving a 20% cut to their digital app store distributors like Apple, Google, Amazon and Roku. And about a year ago, they stopped allowing in-app sign-ups for new customers, meaning that they had to sign up online at Netflix.com, allowing Netflix to retain the full subscription fee. Cut out the middle man!

    HBO and the cable TV industry grew up together. HBO was THE original cable channel, launched back in 1972. And for a really long time, it was a mutually beneficial relationship. HBO gave their distributors a big cut in exchange for doing things they couldn't or wouldn't do: physically delivering their signal, engaging in promotional activities to increase subscriber levels, and handling customer service and billing. But the internet has changed everything. It's allowed services to go direct to consumer and cut out the middle man (or at least rely on him less). And Netflix has emerged as a competitor and threat to HBO. HBO has to evolve and directly confront that threat. And that's what HBO Max is about. But just as they're becoming more like Netflix in terms of emphasizing on-demand streaming delivery, with a broad slate of content aimed at varying tastes and demographics, I think they'll try to become more like Netflix in terms of their distribution model and the share of revenue they give distribution partners.

    Pricing HBO Max at the same $15 price as HBO while offering over twice as much content puts their distribution partners in a difficult spot. Because unless those partners, such as Comcast and Charter, amend their agreement to distribute HBO Max instead of HBO, and sell it at the same price or maybe just slightly more (e.g. $16), then you're right: a good chunk of their current HBO subs will cancel and switch to HBO Max, accessing it as a standalone streaming app on their Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, etc.

    But I assume that AT&T will drive a harder bargain for HBO Max than they ever have for HBO. Instead of asking them to pay $7.65 per sub, they may ask for $10.50 or $11. Sure, an MVPD could decline and opt to stick with their current contract to keep selling regular HBO under their current terms but, as I say, they'll risk some of those subs cancelling and switching to HBO Max on their own. Or they could decide to unilaterally sell regular HBO at a lower price -- say, $12 instead of $15 -- but all that would come out of their own margins. Why sell HBO at $12 if it costs you $7.65? That leaves the MVPD with $4.35, which is about the same margin, or even less, as they'd make selling HBO Max.

    Now imagine that AT&T decides to start producing HBO Originals in 4K HDR (finally catching up to Netflix and Amazon) but restricts that format to HBO Max, meaning stuff remains stuck in regular HD in HBO Go, HBO Now, and on MVPD systems that distribute regular HBO rather than HBO Max. That would drive even more subs away from regular HBO to HBO Max. I think that's a very plausible scenario. (That said, AT&T mentioned nothing about 4K, HDR or video/audio formats in general during the HBO Max unveiling this week.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
  7. Oct 31, 2019 #47 of 127
    Gordon Shumway

    Gordon Shumway Member

    114
    11
    Jul 25, 2013
    Ocala, FL
    They just lost another customer about 5 minutes ago. What was really weird was they made no attempt whatsoever to retain me. I've been with them since 1996, and currently have a $176/mth bill. I was shocked thinking I would be on the phone for an hour, but it was glorious. Said I wanted to cancel service, the attendant said sorry to see you go, and I was done with the call in 9:55. :tearsofjoy:

    I can't help think this was a trick, and because the service is paid through 11/11, they will do something like send a virus down to my TV's to disable them. :anguished: :laughing:

    What is really crazy is earlier today it took me 25 minutes to cancel two radios on Sirius/XM costing just $10/mth, and they offered to make them both $5/mth.
     
  8. Nov 2, 2019 #48 of 127
    wmb

    wmb Godfather

    560
    42
    Dec 17, 2008
    How long would the discount last? Man, I may need to do that. I have two radios.

    I left DTV about 2 years ago because they didn't renew expiring credits, the cost of equipment, the bargain basement DirecTV Now pricing, and the Apple TV promotion (I got two). I had the middle "Got to have it" (or whatever it was called) package that cost $50. Grandfathered in on that package, and the new packages are still missing Food, and HGTV, which we rarely watch. Now, AT&T Now has crept in price to what my discounted DirecTV package cost before the credits expired, but now I'm not paying $21 for HD/Whole Home/DVR, and 2@$7 for boxes. Going to DirecTV Now saved me $80 at the time - $35 in equipment fees and $30 in package price, plus taxes.

    Of course, what's the point of posting the previous paragraph? After saving about $1k going to streaming as a relatively early adopter, I'm needing to rethink my approach to things because the landscape is changing again. Prices are climbing. I'm going to have to take a look at the Disney bundle with HULU Live, if such a thing exists. We watch ESPN+ for MLS, cheaper for a year subscription than Direct Kick (or whatever the package was called). I don't like switching between boxes, and don't want to go through all the apps to find what I want to watch. The Apple TV app may help with that, or maybe Disney will have a unified app. Going back to D* is not an option as its a second box, and I'm dropping them again in 2 years if the price jumps. I could bundle TV with Internet through my teleco, but that would mean box switching, and wouldn't save me that much.

    Its hard to find a good place to keep current on changes in that space, the way that this was for D* back in the day. Heck, this forum is still about as good a place as any.
     
  9. Nov 2, 2019 #49 of 127
    GordonGekko

    GordonGekko Active Member

    476
    36
    Dec 5, 2015

    XMFan.com :: #1 Fan Site of Sirius XM Satellite Radio :: Are Renewal Deals Still Available?

    The SiriusXM discount might not ever go away, there are people who call every time their term is up, and they've been getting the discounts for over ten years.
     
  10. Nov 2, 2019 #50 of 127
    Gordon Shumway

    Gordon Shumway Member

    114
    11
    Jul 25, 2013
    Ocala, FL
    He said for 12 months. I'm not sure that $5/mth per radio was the best deal he was willing to give. When I said no to that he told me to hang on as he had more offers. At that point I just told him I didn't ask to cancel because I wanted a better deal, I asked to cancel because I wanted to cancel. He sounded a little befuddled by that, but to his credit at that point he just got down to business doing what I asked.

    $5/mth is actually a pretty good deal especially with all the streaming capability that has been added. That is of course if you actually use it. I don't need it, or care about it any longer, so it isn't even worth a $1/mth to me.
     
  11. Nov 2, 2019 #51 of 127
    RACJ2

    RACJ2 Hall Of Fame

    3,898
    9
    Aug 2, 2008
    Same here, only staying for NFLST. Hoping the NFL opens it up and other providers start offering it in the future.

    In the meantime, I'll continue to do what I've done the past 2 years. Once the NFL season ends, I suspend service for 6 mo's and go to streaming. It used to be free to suspend, but ATT now charges $7/mo to freeze service. Still able to cut my bill more than in half when on YouTube TV. And get all the channels I really care about during the NFL off-season.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2019
  12. Nov 2, 2019 #52 of 127
    Getteau

    Getteau Icon

    958
    54
    Dec 19, 2007
    Houston
    I’m one of those who calls to cancel my SiriusXM a couple of weeks before my term ends and have been doing it for around 5 years. I usually get something around $8-10 a month for one radio and the Internet listening option. We use our second vehicle for road trips in the summer and I usually get that one activated for about $5 a month for a 6 month deal. In the 5 or so years I’ve been calling, they’ve never pushed back like AT&T is doing now. I just tell them my subscription is ending and the retail price is too expensive. They come back and say how about a new contract at what you are paying now. I say sure and we spend the next 10 minutes going over the T&C’s and I’m done. For our second car, I just say I have multiple come back letters for $5 a month for 6 months and they say great, let’s set it up. Anyone paying full price for SiriusXM hasn’t bothered calling them.
     
    Steveknj likes this.
  13. Nov 2, 2019 #53 of 127
    longhorn23

    longhorn23 Active Member

    110
    113
    Jan 19, 2019
    which package are y’all getting for $5 a month? Is it select or one of the higher packages?
     
  14. Nov 3, 2019 #54 of 127
    Bob Coxner

    Bob Coxner Icon

    720
    9
    Dec 28, 2005
    If you go to their home page siriusxm.com you should see an offer of $5 a month for a year, for car + internet streaming. It's for Select. It will probably say something about only for new customers but just call and say you saw it on their home page and you'll get it. I think the only things you don't get with Select are MLB games, NBA games and PGA Tour. You get NFL games, all of Howard Stern, etc.
     
    longhorn23 likes this.
  15. Nov 4, 2019 #55 of 127
    VARTV

    VARTV Godfather

    516
    7
    Dec 14, 2006
    Virginia...
    They are letting go of customers like you... ones on promotions and/or discounts. Good luck...
     
    MysteryMan likes this.
  16. Nov 4, 2019 #56 of 127
    VARTV

    VARTV Godfather

    516
    7
    Dec 14, 2006
    Virginia...
    Sadly, me too. BUT I do feel that I'm getting the best PQ vs the other providers in our area - DISH, Verizon or COX...
     
  17. Nov 4, 2019 #57 of 127
    lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

    4,793
    367
    Mar 4, 2006
    Herrin, IL
    Well, at least that is the public pronouncements from ATT. But we read here about discounts still going on, some really big. I’m still getting new/come back offers at great prices with a $300 gift card.

    So those statements make for great press to try to cover for the fact that they are shedding customers at an alarming rate and not all of them are the low profit ones. In fact, without some actual proof from ATT, I’m not sure if there are all that many low profit customers bailing out.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
  18. Nov 4, 2019 #58 of 127
    Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    34,714
    1,649
    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    Was the term "low profit customers" ever defined? I don't want to think about how much D* has cost me over the years. Pretty sure they made a lot of profit off me.

    Rich
     
  19. Nov 4, 2019 #59 of 127
    Andrew Sullivan

    Andrew Sullivan Active Member

    395
    93
    Dec 7, 2017
    Maybe, but profit means return on investment. Equipment cost plus technicians plus transmission costs. They most likely did make a profit on you and me but not on everybody. But then again, in the world of business profit is not a dirty word.
     
    Rich likes this.
  20. Nov 4, 2019 #60 of 127
    slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

    10,611
    1,519
    Feb 14, 2013
    Iowa

    They don't define it, but from other things they say it is pretty easy to figure out they mean:

    1) customers with lower credit ratings
    2) customers who sign up for the minimum term and then leave (i.e. ones who have done this before they don't want back because they'll just do it again)
    3) customers who call every year like clockwork asking for "retention" and threatening to leave unless they get a big discount - they are giving up fewer/smaller discounts now
     
    MysteryMan likes this.

Share This Page

spam firewall