AT&T's WarnerMedia to Create Streaming Service With TV, Movies

(Bloomberg) -- AT&T Inc.’s WarnerMedia will start a new streaming service for consumers in the fourth quarter of 2019, challenging Netflix Inc. and a planned product from Walt Disney Co.

Key Insights

  • A direct-to-consumer service would capitalize on WarnerMedia’s vast library of movies, TV shows, documentaries and animation.
  • Media companies are all scrambling to offer more direct services in response to consumers’ cutting their cable subscriptions.
  • AT&T, which completed its acquisition of Time Warner in June, also is looking for payoff from the $85 billion deal.

Dig Deeper

  • AT&T Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson telegraphed last month that the streaming product would be announced this quarter.
  • The new service will be devoted to entertainment programming. CNN’s live news won’t be part of it.
  • At a conference, WarnerMedia chief John Stankey said the company has “years of pent-up investment” in its library.
  • Stankey said he believes the market can sustain more than two streaming services, though fewer than 10.
  • AT&T also has launched a $7.99-a-month streaming service focused on its DC Comics content.
  • The company expects to defer some licensing revenue to later periods in the form of increased customer subscription revenue.

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