Variety‘s Janko Roettgers gets a scoop on DirectTV Now, the streaming service in development by parent company AT&T. While the (admittedly incomplete) channel line-up is of some interest, my attention was grabbed by this speculative promotion:
The leaked documents detail that consumers who are willing to commit to at least three months of paid service will be able to get a free Apple TV as part of a device promotion. Consumers who pay for one month will get a free Fire TV streaming stick. Both devices are more expensive on their own than the service charges consumers would have to pay to qualify for each promotion.
An interesting incentive. There are probably a lot of folks who don’t yet have a streaming box–but probably have a smartphone, tablet, or computer–and this could very well be an attractive way to get them into the market.
But, as Variety points out, it’s a bit of a loss leader for AT&T. The supposed price for DirecTV Now is $35 a month–even at a three month commitment, that’s still only $105, which is $45 less than the cost of an Apple TV. And you get all that programming to boot. (The Fire TV Stick goes for $40, which, while not quite as good a deal, is still pretty solid for a single month’s payment.) If you take the streaming device and run after that, you’re getting a nice deal–but I’m sure AT&T is betting you’ll feel locked in at that point.
Streaming services are starting to come fast and furious at this point. By next year, I’d imagine consumers will be awash in choices. The question is whether or not they’re ready to abandon their traditional content models, and whether these new services promise a major advantage, whether it be cheaper prices, more content, or more features.