KBode 5/17/2016 | 12:32:29 PM
Re: Interesting play... Yeah I'm just not sure.

Historically fear of cannibalization ultimately leads executives cutting streaming service features or price promos they feel will be TOO compelling, which shoots these projects in the foot. 

AT&T wants to be adaptable to market evolution, and wants wireless users eating through video allotments, but they also don't want millions of U-Verse TV and DirecTV customers (paying $120+ per month) suddenly shelling out less cash for a $30 to $40 skinny bundle. That would terrify increasingly skittish investors.

What kind of actions they'll take to reflect this concern isn't clear, but knowing AT&T there will be some kind of caveats that prevent the effort from being as successful as it could be if they jumped into the pool with both feet. 

Usually the play is the TV Everywhere type approach, where streaming is sold as a complement to traditional cable, but doesn't disrupt traditional cable. But to truly succeed I feel like some level of major self-disruption has to exist. 
inkstainedwretch 5/17/2016 | 12:27:12 PM
Re: Interesting play... I wonder if AT&T (along with Verizon and other companies that also have wireless) are less concerned about cannibalization, given their expectation of using 5G to deliver video services. In other words, they may have put themselves in a mindset that cannibalization is inevitable.

Furthermore, it might end up not being cannibalization, once you accustom yourself to the realization that consumers are absolutely, utterly uninterested in the delivery mechanism. Companies like AT&T are beginning to demonstrate that you can prosper by getting services to your customers by whatever technological means are available, and if you have several means available, all the better. (Another example is Cable getting serious about Wi-Fi.)

The "my network is technologically superior" attitude is only justifiable if competing networks suck so bad the experience of using them is unbearable, and what qualifies as "unbearable" involves not just quality, but other factors too, notably cost.

-- Brian Santo
KBode 5/17/2016 | 11:55:53 AM
Interesting play... In an age where so many cable operators deny that things are evolving toward over the top, kind of interesting that AT&T is the one taking the aggressive move toward selling a nationwide standalone streaming option. Could prove interesting provided AT&T doesn't shoot itself on pricing or some other idea driven by fear of cannibalizing existing U-Verse subscribers. 
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