After AT&T won its bid to purchase Time Warner and got government approval to do so, the company has quickly been making changes around their acquisition. The company quickly made changes at HBO, even while the Department of Justice was renewing their fight against the merger. They have also been offering bundles of their combined services, like DirecTV and wireless service, along with HBO streaming.
The newest move for the company is to create yet another streaming service. This move is likely the public confirmation of a streaming service mentioned in court in April. The service will feature the company's own content, including CNN and HBO, as well as content from partners, such as DC Comics. According to John Stankey, CEO of WarnerMedia (formerly Time Warner),
Our service will start with HBO and the genre defining programming that viewers crave. On top of that we will package content from Turner and Warner Bros. with their deep brand connections that touch both diverse interests and mass audiences.
That certainly makes this new service sound similar to the business model of Amazon Prime Video or Hulu (which WarnerMedia holds a 10% stake in), where there will be a base product and with add-ons, though that is merely speculation. Details, such as pricing and availability, have not yet been announced; just that the service will launch at some point in quarter 4 2019. Having a brand-owned service like this, which brings content directly to consumers, is becoming a popular model. Stankey said,
While going direct-to-consumer gives us an additional opportunity to reach audiences that aren't part of a traditional subscription service, our wholesale relationships will continue to be an important distribution channel. So, it will be a priority to work with our partners to deliver a compelling and competitive product that will complement our wholesale distribution, allowing us to reach the largest number of viewers.
Of course, this new streaming service will also compete with AT&T's DirecTV Now, which also brings content directly to consumers. It does, however, give the company a different style of distribution: appointment style and on-demand. It is a double-edged sword, though, as more services means more piracy.