AT&T TV NOW continues its recent trend of losing subscribers. Over the past few quarters, AT&T has continually lost subscribers although the company has yet to view the losses as a major problem.
Rewind to late 2018 and AT&T TV NOW (DIRECTV NOW at the time) was one of the most popular live TV streaming services based on subscriber numbers and appeared to be in a race with Sling TV for the top spot. However, since then the service has constantly lost subscribers each quarter with the losses seemingly getting worse quarter over quarter throughout the last year. In the first quarter of 2019, AT&T’s NOW streaming service lost 83,000 subs and this was followed by another 168,000 in the second quarter. In the third quarter, the losses totaled 195,000.
AT&T has now released its fourth quarter results confirming that AT&T TV NOW lost another 219,000 subscribers during the quarter. This, along with subscriber losses for its other video services resulted in a total premium TV subscriber loss of 945,000 during the quarter. In total AT&T now has 19.5 million premium TV subscribers and that’s down from 24.5 million in January 2019.
AT&T TV NOW starts 2020 the same way it ended 2019
It is clear that AT&T TV NOW has a real issue with keeping hold of subscribers. While the service was aiming for 2 million subscribers not too long ago, it has now collectively lost around 665,000 subscribers in the past year. That has drastically reduced the overall AT&T TV NOW subscriber base, further pushing the service down the rankings. However, AT&T has never really been concerned about the losses. If anything, the company appears happy to have slimmed down the AT&T TV NOW subscriber base as a way to remove the many customers on a discounted or reduced plan.
Another reason AT&T is less concerned about the losses is the shift in focus towards its newer services. In the next few weeks, AT&T plans to nationwide launch its standard AT&T TV streaming service and this will be followed by HBO Max a few months later.
On a positive note, in the past four quarters, the AT&T TV NOW subscriber loss for any individual quarter was never as bad as it was during the fourth quarter of 2018. In those three months alone, DIRECTV NOW lost 267,000 subscribers.