DirecTV Now Reaches 1M Subscribers While AT&T Continues to Promise DVR, 4K, and More Coming in 2018

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AT&T this morning announced that its over-the-top streaming service DirecTV Now has surpassed the one million subscriber mark, with the milestone coming in just a little bit over a year since the service launched on November 30, 2016. DirecTV Now originally debuted only on iOS and Apple TV devices, and continues to promote the Apple TV in offers where new subscribers can pay for four months of service upfront ($140) and get an all-new 32GB Apple TV 4K ($180) for free.

In comparison, Sling TV is said to still sit at the top of the OTT streaming service bundle market with about 1.7 million subscribers as of Q3 2017. Around this time, Sling TV was followed by PlayStation Vue (455,000 subscribers), YouTube TV (325,000), Hulu with Live TV (150,000), and FuboTV (100,000), according to research firm Guggenheim Securities (via Variety). At the end of the same quarter this year, AT&T reported about 787,000 people had signed up for DirecTV Now, which has now grown to more than one million in just over two months.


"This milestone is an incredible testament to the thousands of hours many people spent working to bring this product online and continually improving it during the past year," said David Christopher, president, AT&T Entertainment Group. "We're thrilled so many customers have come to love DIRECTV NOW and can't wait to bring them a host of new features in 2018."

"To reach 1 million subscribers is an important benchmark for any OTT video service, but to go from zero to 1 million subscribers so quickly is quite an achievement," said Brett Sappington, senior director of Research, Parks Associates.

As it celebrates the milestone, AT&T also looked forward into the New Year and listed a few upcoming features coming to the service in 2018. According to the company, subscribers can expect the following features to be added to DirecTV Now sometime next year:

- A DVR in the cloud to record your shows and access virtually anywhere
- 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) quality video
- Capacity for more than 35,000 titles on demand
- Individual profiles
- Adding an additional concurrent stream
- More……surprises!

One of the most-requested additions to DirecTV Now is a cloud-based DVR for recording and storing shows to watch later, and AT&T originally stated that the DVR would be launching in fall 2017. The DVR has been in beta for weeks now, so it appears that AT&T is still fine-tuning the experience ahead of the wide launch next year. It's not clear if all of the new features will debut at once, but besides the DVR subscribers can expect an overhauled user interface, 4K video, expanded on demand options, and more.

Top Rated Comments

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37 months ago
Let’s hope they fix NBC buffering issues during any NFL football game. It doesn’t happen on other networks.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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37 months ago

One thing not mentioned is the new UI coming next year along with all these other features and it is so much better especially on the AppleTV. They really figured out how to make the UI work well with the remote.

I agree. I really don't like the apple remote. It is to sensitive to accidentally touches. I find myself changing channels by accident because of that.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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37 months ago
Too late. I put in my cancellation a couple weeks back and the last day of my billing cycle is tomorrow. Promises promises. I've heard nothing but promises over the past year. And during that entire year what they DIDN'T do is fix what was already supposed to be there. I couldn't stream an NFL game in HD even when I bumped my internet package up to 300Mbps.

But I gotta give it to them. Keep promising. Costs them nothing and if users hold onto the service for another month or two (or more like 6mo in my case), that's money to their pocket.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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37 months ago
I wonder how much the subscribers would DROP after the 4-month prepaid period for signing up and getting the AppleTV 4K
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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37 months ago
I'm really surprised that PS Vue doesn't have more subscribers. To me, they appear to be the most polished streaming service of the bunch.

While I have no doubt that DIRECTV Now service has improved since it originally launched last year, I will not consider switching from PS Vue to Now until the latter introduces DVR service.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
37 months ago
I'll be honest - if the price wasn't 35 a month for the Go Big package as an early subscriber, and I didn't get the free year of HBO as an apology (yes, it WAS an apology move, DTVN) I would have switched out. However, my patience is wearing thin. As a customer, here's what I expect from them:

* They need to fix the interface like... NOW. Not "in the coming weeks" which means 7 months away. A light wind changes the channel and the guide jumps all over the place if you pull it up and you're not currently tuned into a favorite. Annoying and poor design.
* They need to get their Showtime subscription to work with on-demand. 8/mo for JUST live Showtime? Forget it. They have had a few months to fix this, and I've given up and nixed Showtime from my package because they lied about the timetable.
* They need to get that DVR functionality online. It's been too long.
* They need to remove the people who are working on these issues if they at long last admit they don't know what they are doing (which is what it looks like) and get people in there who know how to handle the project.
* They need to stop lying to their customers and be honest about where things stand. That for me is the worst part. Don't make promises if you can't keep them, and don't go dark when people ask question or refer them to a FAQ. It's unprofessional and insulting.

I guess I can only complain so much since the price point is so low, but eventually the whole "you get what you pay for" vibe sets in, and DTVN starts to look like a garbage bargain alternative when for $5-10/mo more you get a much more consistent and well-run experience from competitors.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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