AT&T today said DIRECTV Now, its live streaming service, has more than 900,000 subscribers, just two weeks before its first birthday, writes The Hollywood Reporter.
John Stephens, AT&T’s chief financial officer, told a Morgan Stanley investors conference in Barcelona that the majority of DIRECTV Now customers are people who previously dropped pay TV service, or had never signed up for pay TV.
“About half of these subscribers are cord cutters or cord nevers, with about 10 percent of those coming from AT&T’s DIRECTV and U-verse services,” Stephens said. “The other half have migrated from other traditional TV providers.”
DIRECTV Now, which launched on November 30, still trails Sling TV in the total number of subscribers among multi-channel, live streaming services. While Dish, which owns Sling, has not revealed the streamer’s numbers, analysts have estimated it’s likely around two million.
However, the comparison is arguably not fair because Sling TV launched in late January of 2015.
So how does DIRECTV Now compare to Sling TV after its first year?
Again, we have difficulty answering that question with certainty because Dish is tight-lipped about the numbers. But the Wall Street Journal quoted industry sources in February 2016 that Sling then had more than 600,000 subscribers.
That’s not definitive, but it’s probably the best source at the time for how Sling did in its first year.
The comparison between DIRECTV Now and Sling TV in their first year is not entirely a fair one, of course. The multi-channel, live streaming category was brand new in 2015 so Sling probably had a more difficult time persuading consumers to take a chance than DIRECTV Now did from November 2016-November 2017.
But it’s still interesting that DIRECTV Now appears to have topped Sling’s first year by around 300,000 subscribers. (If, that is, the WSJ story was on the money.)
— Phillip Swann