AT&T is using its premium channel HBO as a carrot to lure in new subscribers for its DirecTV and AT&T TV video services.
The company said that for a limited time new subscribers to either service will receive one year of HBO free. As an added enticement, the company promised that new HBO subscribers will be among the first to get HBO Max and its slate of new original series when the service launches in May.
The offer comes after late last week AT&T announced that several HBO series and documentaries including “The Sopranos” and “The Wire” are free to watch right now on the HBO Now and HBO Go apps in the U.S.
Alan Wolk, co-founder and lead analyst at TV[R]EV, said the move by HBO sets a good example for other SVOD services.
“If you’re one of the Flixes, you might want to follow in HBO’s footsteps. Especially given that you’re about to have increased competition. You don’t have to give the whole store away for free, but at least put out some free samples. It works for bakeries and candy stores, it will work for Flixes, too,” Wolk wrote.
AT&T also said that as stay-at-home orders are extended in many states, the company is continuing to see an increase in TV consumption, which is up 14% in hours watched since the week of March 2. AT&T also said DirecTV on-demand transactions are up 90%, compared to the week of March 2, with the strongest performance coming from titles such as “1917,” “I Still Believe” and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”
AT&T today put out a financial update to provide investors with some reassurance as the coronavirus continues to impact the company’s business on multiple fronts. The company said the strength and relevance of its core subscription businesses, its “continued execution on our business transformation initiatives, and sizing our operations to economic activity will provide cash from operations that will support network investments, dividend payments and debt retirement, as well as the ability to invest in business opportunities that arise as the economies recover.”