Why AT&T Expects Stable DIRECTV NOW Customer Growth in Q2 2018




AT&T’s (T) DIRECTV NOW OTT (over-the-top) is a video streaming service that delivers content directly to subscribers via the Internet as a replacement for cable or satellite subscriptions. In the first quarter, the company added 312,000 subscribers to its DIRECTV NOW video streaming service, up from 72,000 DIRECTV NOW net subscriber additions in the first quarter of 2017.

During the JPMorgan Global Technology, Media, and Communications Broker Conference held on May 15, Randall Stephenson, AT&T’s CEO, spoke about AT&T’s video business. Stephenson stated that the company is expecting overall stable video customer growth in the second quarter of 2018, mainly due to the seasonally lower second quarter. However, its management expects to grow the video subscriber base in fiscal 2018.

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Peer comparison

Amazon’s (AMZN) Prime Video and Netflix (NFLX) are AT&T’s other competitors in the online video streaming space. In the first quarter, Netflix gained 7.4 million new subscribers and exited the quarter with 125.0 million subscribers. Amazon recently stated that it had more than 100.0 million Prime members, which includes access to its streaming service.

As the OTT video streaming service rapidly adds subscribers, traditional pay-TV companies are losing subscribers. In the first quarter, Comcast (CMCSA) and Charter Communications (CHTR) lost 96,000 and 122,000 video customers, respectively. AT&T lost 188,000 satellite TV customers and added 1,000 U-verse TV customers during the same quarter.

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