Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

The success of flawed DirecTV Now proves that consumers are desperate for TV streaming

DirecTV Now Subscribers

DirecTV Now, AT&T’s fledgling TV streaming service, is already off to an impressive start. In a recent SEC filing, AT&T informs us that the DirecTV Now service managed to attract 200,000 paying subscribers during its first four weeks of availability. All in all, that’s not too shabby given that the streaming service has had its fair share of technical hiccups along the way.

Notably, the 200,000 figure only includes paying subscribers, which is to say that AT&T isn’t relying on users with free trials as a means to artificially inflate its subscriber base.

The broader takeaway here is that many consumers are eager to cut the cord and are more than willing to sign up for a streaming TV service if the channel lineup is solid and the price point is attractive. Indeed, what makes DirecTV Now so compelling is that it didn’t skimp on the channel lineup and made sure that its various packages were more than reasonable.

As you can see below, DirecTV Now’s four distinct subscription plans provide a whole lot of bang for the buck compared to your standard cable TV package

  • Live a Little – $35 / month (60+ channels)
  • Just Right – $50 / month (80+ channels)
  • Go Big – $60 / month (100+ channels)
  • Gotta Have it – $70 / month (120+ channels)

And while anyone can roll out an affordable TV service, DirecTV Now includes all of the top cable channels. Even the entry-level “Live a Little” option includes channels like AMC, Bravo, CNN, Comedy Central, E!, ESPN, MTV, TNT, the USA Network and more.

While DirecTV Now is not without its share of drawbacks — there is no DVR feature or access to CBS programming — it’s overwhelmingly clear that there’s a huge demand for alternatives to cable TV outside of Netflix. Traditional cable channels certainly aren’t going anywhere, but the manner in which consumers  access and enjoy them is clearly changing.

Meanwhile, Apple’s rumored TV streaming service is still nowhere to be seen, with reports over the past few months suggesting that Apple was ultimately unable to iron out pricing with various content providers. At this point, it’s fair to argue that even if Apple releases a new streaming service in 2017, it may be too little too late.

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.