Couple on sofa with TV remote

DIRECTV NOW’s Future Is Unknown

Recently AT&T made two announcements that will likely represent a major change of direction for DIRECTV NOW. First, AT&T announced a third live TV streaming service with the launch of a DIRECTV streaming (along with AT&T Watch TV). AT&T also announced that they expect DIRECTV NOW to lose subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2018 and into 2019.

So, what does all this mean for DIRECT NOW? What we do know is AT&T is changing their DIRECTV NOW priorities. Since launch AT&T has focused on growing DIRECTV NOW with a flood of great deals like three months of DIRECTV NOW for $10 and an Apple TV if you prepay for three or four months of DIRECTV NOW. Now AT&T is moving to making a profit even if that means having fewer subscribers.

DIRECTV NOW seems to be falling into a middle ground within AT&T’s lineup, which makes you wonder what AT&T plans to do with it. AT&T Watch TV is now the cheap, lower priced TV service. DIRECTV will soon be a streaming service like DIRECTV NOW. So, how does DIRECTV NOW fit in? This is something AT&T is not talking about and is hard for analysts on the outside to understand.

There seems to be three options for the future of DIRECTV NOW. Shut down DIRECTV NOW, split DIRECTV NOW into DIRECTV & Watch TV, or keep DIRECTV NOW as a prepaid version of DIRECTV.

Option #1: Shut Down DIRECTV NOW

With AT&T Watch TV being on the cheaper end of DIRECTV and DIRECTV taking some of the higher end of DIRECTV NOW there seems little reason to have a third live TV service filling the middle. It is likely that at some point in the future DIRECTV NOW will just go away, especially with AT&T expecting it to lose subscribers soon. So what would happen to DIRECTV NOW customers? They could mvoe to other services or to the DIRECTV streaming version.

Option #2: Split DIRECTV NOW Into AT&T Watch TV and DIRECTV

With DIRECTV becoming a streaming service it would make sense to split DIRECTV NOW into DIRECTV and AT&T Watch TV. Why have two different names, apps, accounts, and more when they both use the same back end and are both a live TV streaming service? Especially when you look at the $60+ packages of DIRECTV NOW vs the DIRECTV package. A slight price drop of the DIRECTV version will be a similar lineup to what DIRECTV NOW offers. (Assuming they remove all the device rental fees, DVR fees, etc.)

Depending on what package you have with DIRECTV NOW you could end up in AT&T Watch TV or DIRECTV.

Shutting down DIRECTV NOW and bringing the cheaper DIRECTV NOW packages into DIRECTV’s streaming services would remove confusion. AT&T Watch TV stays as a super cheap TV package. DIRECTV offers streaming options of DIRECTV & DIRECTV NOW.

Option #3: Keep DIRECTV NOW as a Prepaid Option

Prepaid cellphone plans have proven to be extremely popular. Comcast has even been playing around with prepaid home internet. One of the options that seems likely is that AT&T would keep DIRECTV NOW as a prepaid version of their new DIRECTV streaming service.

According to reports, DIRECTV’s streaming version will still come with all the contracts that DIRECTV currently includes. Having DIRECTV NOW as a prepaid version without contracts and without the features would likely help make DIRECTV NOW stand out.

How exactly AT&T will make the prepaid version of DIRECTV NOW stand out from the standard DIRECTV service is still unknown. Yet this seems like the most likely future for DIRECTV NOW, because it would be slightly cheaper and slightly less feature rich.

What do you think the future of DIRECTV NOW is? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.

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