As AT&T's media brands struggle, former media boss takes over as CEO
posted Saturday Apr 25, 2020 by Scott Ertz
AT&T hosted its quarterly earnings call, during which the company announced the company's premium television subscriber numbers, which include AT&T TV, DirectTV, and U-verse. The brand suffered a net subscriber loss of 897,000, leaving the service with 18.6 million subscribers. This drop represents nearly 5 percent of the total subscribers leaving in only 90 days. As an explanation for the significant turnover, the company said,
897,000 loss due to competition and customers rolling off promotional discounts as well as lower gross adds from the continued focus on adding higher-value customers
AT&T has long been in the media game, but it was never a large player with AT&T U-verse. It wasn't until the purchase of DirecTV that the telecom company's media plans truly began. Unfortunately, the move was not a fruitful one, as indicated in the statistic above. This is not the first quarter in which the distribution business saw a loss. In fact, for the last several quarters, it has been consistent losses, amounting to 3.43 million in 2019. They've gone so far as to consider selling the brand.
Another part of the AT&T media expansion has been the division headed by WarnerMedia. The company joined the AT&T juggernaut after a long process, bringing with it some major media clout. However, the services under WarnerMedia have had some issues, as well. HBO's streaming services have not performed to the company's hopes. However, the company's announced new service, HBO Max, is the next best hope, which will finally launch on May 27.
The service will contain the majority, if not the entirety, of the WarnerMedia catalog. It also is to include original content for the service. The media plans are such a big part of AT&T's future that John Stankey, the current CEO of WarnerMedia, has been named as the next CEO of AT&T.