Hollywood Reporter: AT&T's Streaming Headache: Why Is DirecTV Now Losing Subscribers?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by bobcnn, Feb 6, 2019.

  1. Feb 6, 2019 #1 of 135
    bobcnn

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    AT&T's Streaming Headache: Why Is DirecTV Now Losing Subscribers?


    "In the wake of a price increase in July, the growth of their DirecTV Now subscriber base slowed sharply. In the fourth quarter, it collapsed," says MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett. "Nobody expected this."
     
  2. Feb 6, 2019 #2 of 135
    slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    AT&T's CEO explained why. They had a lot of customers on promo deals at low prices, or who took advantage of them giving away Apple TV and other gear in exchange for signing up.

    Plus probably you get some "looky loos" who just want to see if they can save money over their cable by streaming, but didn't like the service or their cable company gave them a sweetheart deal to come back.
     
  3. Feb 6, 2019 #3 of 135
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Make a service easy to cancel and people will cancel. It is a challenge keeping customers sticky.
     
  4. Feb 6, 2019 #4 of 135
    TV_Guy

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    Maybe this is part of the problem:

    Fox Sports 2
    BBC World News
    NBA TV
    Golf Channel
    CBS Sports Network


    These 5 channels are in the $40 You Tube Package. If you want them on Directv Now you are looking at the $65 package. One of Directv Now's advantages in the NY metro area is offering MSG. But unlike Fubo they don't offer the overflow channels MSG2 and MSG+2. Instead one needs to authenticate and stream from a PC or phone since MSG GO does not have an app for streaming from Roku or any other TV connected device.
     
  5. Feb 6, 2019 #5 of 135
    Microphone

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    Two things happened that really have become staples to start the 21st century: HD TV and DVR's. DirectvNow has done a poor job of something most of use ALL the time, the latter.
    I Love You Tube and I love the looks of their DVR. Solid picture, great reviews, but lousy channel selection, sorry. You don't have the Scripts Channels (Rich, your wife's Hallmark, my wife's HGTV;)) and you're really playing from behind.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
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  6. Feb 7, 2019 #6 of 135
    TV_Guy

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    As has been mentioned here several times Philo for $16 fills in some of the holes in You Tube TV's package. For a total of $56 you have the Scripps channels along with the 5 channels that I mentioned and a better DVR from You Tube TV.
     
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  7. Feb 7, 2019 #7 of 135
    Microphone

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    I took care of the ladies. Neither have the NHL Network. If I start piling services on here, it defeats the purpose. But you're on the right track, thanks!
     
  8. Feb 7, 2019 #8 of 135
    SamC

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    Old guy mode on.

    This whole thing reminds me of long distance in the era just after the AT&T breakup. For you young people, back then all there was was land lines and you could only call, more or less, people in your town "free", everything else you had to pay for. Part of the AT&T breakup was you could choose your long distance carrier and, the truth was, they were all the same. And they embarked on this huge churn deal where you went from one to the next to the next for this freebie and that freebie and this much discount and so on.

    So that is what we have here. DirecTV Now for a couple months, then You Tube TV and so on and so on. As soon as the discount runs out, if they won't extend it, move on.

    If you don't care about "linear TV" (which means, more or less, don't watch sports) even easier. Binge whatever looks good on Netflix for a while, then Amazon, the Hulu then CBSAA, and start again.
     
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  9. Feb 7, 2019 #9 of 135
    TV_Guy

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    Here's another option with the NHL TV app:

    The battle for the playoffs is heating up. Get the rest of the season for $39.99 - that's $100 off the full season price!
     
  10. Feb 8, 2019 #10 of 135
    mjwagner

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    If it’s easy to cancel you are forced to make your service good, compelling, and better than the competition. That is a big win for consumers IMHO.
     
  11. Feb 8, 2019 #11 of 135
    dreadlk

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    Some companies only operate well in an environment where they are either a monopoly or have competition that is willing to work with them in order to squeeze every dollar out of the public.

    Perfect examples of this are the Airline Industry, the Cell phone industry, oil and gas and Pharmaceuticals.

    AT&T is one of those companies and for some reason has started to move into an area that does not fit with their business model.
    Streaming is something that has been defined by Netflix. People expect a big bang for the buck and a company that listens to it's customers and tends to their desires. They also make sure you have the ability to pull out whenever you feel like and your account can be shared with up to four friends or family members.

    This kind of thinking is counter intuitive to AT&T who's business model has always been to lure you in with a low price and then lock you in as they increase the rates. And the Opticss on what they do has never really worried them.

    In the case of Directv Now the only thing ATT could see was that the heavily discounted customers were just dead weight that needed to pay more. So people rebelled and left. That's the streaming mentality! The stupid part is that AT&T never thought about the fact that the only headline that would emerge is that their service is loosing lots of customers. This kind of thing gives any potential customers a reason to pause and question if it is a good idea to sign up. Very few people are interested in why the ship is sinking they just know it's sinking so it's best to get far away.
     
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  12. Feb 8, 2019 #12 of 135
    slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    The heavily discounted customers lose money, the only way you want to keep money losing customers around is if you can convert them to profitable customers. But the cheapskates are never going to become profitable, they leave the minute the discounts end. Better to have them leave and concentrate on keeping as many of the ones who are profitable as you can - that's easier to do if they don't see other people getting huge discounts they aren't getting.
     
  13. Feb 8, 2019 #13 of 135
    dreadlk

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    I agree, but the mentality is so different with cord cutters.
    As Directv customers we see new people getting much better pricing than existing customers yet we traditionally stayed.

    This is the kind of model ATT can work with. The problem is that the old business model is changing and I don't think ATT is capable of working with customers who want zero commitment and good value for their money.
     
  14. Feb 8, 2019 #14 of 135
    rccoleman

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    I was shocked at how easy it was to cancel DTV Now, and they actually advertise it as a feature. I didn't investigate ahead of time and instead put a reminder on my phone to fight with DTV on the phone over my cancellation, only to find out that it's as easy as clicking a button on the website. Big win for consumers.
     
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  15. Feb 8, 2019 #15 of 135
    Getteau

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    Exactly. With DTV or Dish or a cable provider, there is a certain level of customer inertia because they have invested some time and resources in getting the hardware installed at their house. If I want to cancel, I have to disconnect all the provider specific hardware and take it somewhere. That takes some effort on my part. In the streaming model, the hardware is my existing TV, Roku unit, Amazon Firestick ... My investment in provider X is the 30 seconds it took to me to download the app to my device and maybe the few minutes it took me to sign-up for the service. If I want to cancel, I just delete the app or stop using it. If you are providing me with some physical piece of hardware, I can somewhat see having to sign a long term contract. If all you are giving me is an app that I am installing on my own device, why would I sign a long term contract when there are 100 other free apps that do pretty much the same thing. It's similar to apps for your phone or tablet. Why would you pay $10 for a calculator app, let alone sign a 2 year agreement for a calculator app, when you can download 15 others that do almost the same thing.
     
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  16. Feb 8, 2019 #16 of 135
    raott

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    People who look for the best deal are "cheapskates"? Seems like they are wise with their money, rather than being cheapskates. I doubt if Directv would stick with a particular vendor if others were cheaper.

     
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  17. Feb 8, 2019 #17 of 135
    James Long

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    Perhaps that needs to change too. Stop making new customer deals so good that existing customers get mad.

    I will give credit to DIRECTV for offering upgrade deals to existing customers. Those deals seem to be the most annoying for existing customers. If one is willing to accept the commitments that come with new customer deals why not allow for equipment upgrades and continued discounts? But they should come AFTER the previous commitment has been met.

    Two year commitments should come with two years of discounts then let people commit again for another two years. Add "new every two" equipment upgrades to keep people on the most current equipment instead of needing to leave DIRECTV to get a better deal.
     
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  18. Feb 8, 2019 #18 of 135
    DirectMan

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    Do you think the rocket scientists at ATT learned something from the Q4 debacle at DNow - that the new business model that they are touting as the promised land - i.e. streaming- is perhaps not the best model to emulate and the old model which actually employs real rocket scientists - D* with satellites - is actually a good model with "stickiness" that they can stay with. That perhaps by emulating the old D* model of leading edge technology - first with HD, first with 4K etc -and good customer service will attract good long term customers.
     
  19. Feb 8, 2019 #19 of 135
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I believe the proposed "DIRECTV over IP" product bringing streaming closer to the satellite experience will help make customers sticky. Amazon Prime style pricing ($12.99 month/$119 year) gives people about 25% off if they make the commitment to stick around for a full year would help. If AT&T wants people to commit to their service reward the commitment. They are pushing the "no contract" selling point but paying in advance isn't a contract. It is an investment.

    Exclusive is more important than first. First is only a selling point until there is a second ... then providing a better service is what keeps customers.
     
  20. Feb 8, 2019 #20 of 135
    mjwagner

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    You mean those “cheapskates” who want the best value they can get for their hard earned money...how dare they, LOL!
     
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