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AT&T announced plans to put another nail in the coffin of conventional cable TV services by acquiring Quickplay Media, which it will use to add streaming TV to another of their recently acquired properties, DIRECTV. According to Tech Crunch, AT&T already had a relationship with Quickplay, using it for its U-verse TV Everywhere offering and already had plans to add it to its upcoming streaming TV services DIRECTV Now, DIRECTV Preview, and DIRECTV Mobile.
It’s fair to say that AT&T is serious about becoming a major player in the streaming TV market, which is catching on like wildfire as customers grow more fed up with outlandish cable TV prices and want to take their TV wherever they go. You might say it’s a trend that’s going viral.
AT&T announced its plans to offer streaming service after it acquired DIRECTV back in 2015, merging the two companies into the largest pay-TV provider in the world. The price tag? A cool $48.5 billion, so they obviously better stir up some serious business with that kind of investment. While these services aren’t due until the end of the year, customers may be the big winners from this big business merger, as AT&T will be offering DIRECTV online with no contract, no satellite dishes, and not even the need for a cable box. That means they’re going head-to-head with Dish’s Sling TV streaming service, Comcast Stream, Sony’s PlayStation Vue and even trying to snag away some customers from Hulu, which plans to expand into the live TV service market.
While cable TV choices have been shrinking over the last several years, this new crop of streaming TV now gives customers more options, and more options mean better deals and lower prices for TV service. Or at least consumers hope that will be the fallout of all the new gladiators getting into the streaming market arena.
In a statement by AT&T Entertainment Group CEO John Stankey, he gave a few hints on how AT&T hopes to become the new power player in the booming market of streaming video and TV.
“Our strategy is to deliver video content however, whenever and wherever. Quickplay’s multitenant IP distribution infrastructure, combined with AT&T’s leading scale in IP connected end points, will allow us to host and distribute all forms of video traffic. We intend to scale and operate an industry-leading video distribution platform, and viewers will get the high-quality online video viewing experience they desire.”
AT&T says that it plans to keep Quickplay’s management team and employees in place, and are simply acquiring the company to keep the project in-house. Quickplay was previously owned by Madison Dearborn Partners, based in Toronto. However, the acquisition my affect some of the other companies serviced by Quickplay prior to the merger, including Verizon, Sony Pictures, Warner Brothers, Bloomberg Television, Samsung, AccuWeather, and Sirius XM.
The plan is for Quickplay to continue serving its current customers, which consist of more than one billion viewers worldwide. It seems that Quickplay’s numbers confirm the growing trend of people switching to streaming TV services, as the company experienced a 65 percent annual gain in video-on-demand hours, as well as a 44 percent growth overall annually.
Who could have predicted how far streaming TV services would come in just a few short years? What started as a few people joining Netflix or Amazon and buying a Roku has become a technological and entertainment revolution, from the looks of all the new streaming services popping up. Pretty soon every consumer will be able to cut the cable for good and kiss cable TV goodbye. Not to mention letting go of those triple digit cable service bills.
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