Today AT&T announced that DIRECTV NOW lost 83,000 subscribers in the 1st quarter of 2019. This is compared to the 4th quarters of 2018 when DIRECTV NOW lost 267,000 subscribers.
AT&T has been warning that DIRECTV NOW would likely lose subscribers now that has come true. In total AT&T lost 544,000 TV subscribers in the 1st quarter of 2019 up from a loss of 391,000 TV subscribers across all of their TV brands in the 4th quarter of 2018.
The drop in new subscribers is likely caused by several factors like increased competition from new live TV streaming services, DIRECTV NOW’s price hike, fewer deals on DIRECTV NOW (for example the end of their Apple TV deal and the end of the 3 months for $10 deal) and a general slow down in the growth of cord cutting overall. Well, cord cutting has never been more popular the rate of growth has slowed from what many had expected. Many have pointed to the very strong economy resulting in Americans not rushing to find cheaper options for TV. Others have pointed to a growing number of cord-cutters who are skipping live TV services in favor of antennas and on-demand services to explain the growth of cord cutting but services like DIRECTV NOW seeing a drop in how fast they are growing.
DIRECTV NOW’s most recent price hike is likely not a major factor in the 83,000 lost subscribers as it came very late in the 1st quarter of 2019.
While DIRECTV NOW saw their growth slow other cord cutting services like Hulu and Netflix have reported strong growth. Hulu now has over a million live TV subscribers and Netflix added over a million new subscribers just in the United States in the 3rd quarter of 2018. So cord cutting is still strong even if live TV streaming services don’t seem to be growing as fast as cord cutting overall is. It has also been reported that YouTube TV may have also recently topped 1 million subscribers and could also be one more reason DIRECTV NOW is struggling right now.
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