AT&T’s WarnerMedia unit plans to launch a direct-to-consumer streaming service in the fourth quarter of 2019 that leverages its recently acquired entertainment assets, including content from Turner and Warner Bros.
WarnerMedia joins Disney, which also plans to launch its own D2C streaming service next year, and could provide direct competition to streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
“This is another benefit of the AT&T/Time Warner merger, and we are committed to launching a compelling and competitive product that will serve as a complement to our existing businesses and help us to expand our reach by offering a new choice for entertainment with the WarnerMedia collection of films, television series, libraries, documentaries and animation loved by consumers around the world. We expect to create such a compelling product that it will help distributors increase consumer penetration of their current packages and help us successfully reach more customers,” AT&T said in a new 8-K filing.
In an internal memo, obtained by CNN (which is a unit of Turner), WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey said the new product will include HBO.
“Our service will start with HBO and the genre defining programming that viewers crave. On top of that we will package content from Turner and Warner Bros. with their deep brand connections that touch both diverse interests and mass audiences,” Stankey said.
He also said the new product will complement the company’s wholesale distribution business.
“While going direct-to-consumer gives us an additional opportunity to reach audiences that aren’t part of a traditional subscription service, our wholesale relationships will continue to be an important distribution channel,” Stankey said. “So, it will be a priority to work with our partners to deliver a compelling and competitive product that will complement our wholesale distribution, allowing us to reach the largest number of viewers.”
Pricing of the new offering has not been determined yet.