Back in December 2018, it was reported that AT&T and Hulu were working on adding ads to videos when you pause a DVR recording. The idea is that AT&T can make more money with AT&T TV NOW and DIRECTV. Back in May of 2019, AT&T rolled out this feature to DIRECTV satellite customers, meaning when they pause their TV they see rotating ads for HBO programming, for example. Now it seems that AT&T has started to add this feature to the DIRECTV NOW app on select devices.
Earlier this month AT&T rolled out an update to the AT&T TV app on the Apple TV. Since that update happened, a small number of users have started to report that they see ads when they pause their DVR recordings. For now, the ads are mostly for HBO programming as it seems AT&T wants to use them to try and get you to add HBO if you don’t have it.
AT&T is not alone in this effort. Earlier this year Hulu also added ads to its pause screen if you have a limited commercial plan. Hulu has argued that ads like these help keep the cost of Hulu’s $5.99 a month plan down. AT&T has pushed the idea as a way to make more money, helping it offer more content and keep prices down.
As competition on price keeps getting more competitive the ability to use ads to offset the cost of service has become more popular. the question now is deciding what’s the right balance between content and ads. TiVo has faced strong backlash as it added pre-roll ads before DVR’d content and others will also likely face backlash as they try to figure out the right balance here. Yet it seems that ads are here to stay as companies struggle to keep prices low.
Have you seen these ads? If so, on what device? Also, what do you think of these ads? Leave us a comment and let us know.
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