What Does AT&T Want with Staycast?



More hotel entertainment

AT&T (T) announced recently that it was partnering with SONIFI Solutions to expand entertainment options for travelers in hotels. Under the deal, hotels and institutions that provide guest accommodations can use the Staycast service from SONIFI Solutions to enrich their guest entertainment menu. Notably, Staycast works with Chromecast from Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google.

With Staycast, hotel guests can stream online video services like YouTube, Hulu, and DIRECTV Now from their handsets to the biggest screens in their rooms.

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Mission to popularize video services

This push in the hospitality sector seems to be a part of efforts by AT&T to popularize its video products as it eyes growth outside its traditional carrier footprint. The Staycast service is available in hotels with DIRECTV subscriptions. In addition to keeping hotels glued to DIRECTV services, AT&T’s move with Staycast could also help raise the profile of its on-demand video service, DIRECTV Now.

DIRECTV Now is AT&T’s competitor to Dish Network’s (DISH) Sling TV and Sony’s (SNE) PlayStation Vue. It also competes with other SVOD (subscription video-on-demand) services by Netflix (NFLX) and Amazon.com (AMZN).

Eye on the $108.6-billion prize

With DIRECTV Now, AT&T is campaigning for a share of the burgeoning SVOD market. As shown in the chart above, research firm Future Market Insights forecasts that the SVOD market could grow to $108.6 billion by 2026, up from $45.0 billion in 2014.

Clearly, as competition has intensified in the wireless sector, AT&T and Verizon Communications (VZ) are seeking growth opportunities in the media and entertainment sectors.


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