AT&T is changing the name of DirecTV Now to AT&T TV Now in a move to put more distance between its streaming TV services and its freefalling satellite TV service.
AT&T is sending out emails to DirecTV Now subscribers to alert them to the upcoming branding change happening via automatic or manual updates to the app. Besides the name change, the app will continue to function as is.
“In the coming weeks, your DirecTV Now app will change to AT&T TV, but will continue to deliver the same great streaming entertainment. As an existing customer, your service will carry on as usual without any interruptions,” AT&T wrote.
The name change plans arrive as AT&T is readying its new streaming TV service, AT&T TV, for a beta launch later this summer. AT&T TV will use an IP connection instead of a satellite dish, and will operate on a proprietary Android TV set-top box that AT&T is currently testing. The company said AT&T TV will address a wider market than DirecTV and will drive down customer acquisition costs including service visits and installation.
Changing DirecTV Now to AT&T TV Now creates a clear delineation between the company’s streaming and satellite TV operations but it doesn’t necessarily mean DirecTV is going away. During last week’s earnings call, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said the traditional DirecTV satellite product will still be around for a long time.
But, the name change could be a means of disassociating AT&T’s streaming TV business from the dramatic quarterly subscriber losses DirecTV regular reports. During the second quarter, the satellite operator contributed to 778,000 traditional TV subscriber losses, a figure which also factors in AT&T U-verse. DirecTV Now also lost 168,000 subscribers during the quarter.
AT&T has 21.58 million traditional video subscribers (down 8.7% year over year) and 1.34 DirecTV Now subscribers (down 25.9% year over year).