AT&T eliminates the brand name DirecTV Now it uses for its demanding Internet-based TV service. DirecTV Now becomes "AT&T TV Now" later this summer, AT&T announced today. DirecTV Now (the future "AT&T TV Now") offers a bundle of linear TV channels, similar to traditional cable or satellite services, and AT&T said its core offerings will not change.
AT & T's 201
While the technical issues were sorted out, AT & T's subscription gains were short-lived. As we wrote last week, AT&T lost 946,000 TV subscribers in Q2 2019 after announcing a series of price increases.
The loss of 946,000 subscribers consisted of a net loss of 778,000 subscribers in AT & T's DirecTV satellite and U-verse wireline TV services, as well as 168,000 lost subscribers to DirecTV Now. The losses are much greater when you look at the past year rather than just the last three months. Including all three services, AT & T's total number of video subscribers dropped from 25.4 million in Q2 2018 to 22.9 million in Q2 2019. DirecTV Now subscribers dropped from 1.8 million to 1.3 million in the past year.
DirecTV satellite is still called DirecTV  While the streaming service drops the DirecTV mark, the satellite TV service will retain the DirecTV name, at least for the time being.
"We continue to invest to improve our satellite experience, and that brand remains unchanged today," AT&T said in a statement to Ars.
AT&T said that the actual DirecTV Now service will remain the same despite the name change. "Our DirecTV Now subscribers will simply need to accept the terms of service, and streaming will continue as usual without interruption," AT&T said.
The name change comes as AT&T plans several new services to support its television business, which can be confusing for customers. The company will offer AT&T TV Now and AT&T TV – two separate services with almost identical names – from a single app called AT&T TV.
"In selected markets this summer, we will be piloting a brand new connected TV experience with no satellite required – AT&T TV," it says in today's announcement. AT&T continued:
Both AT&T TV and AT&T TV Now you can access experiences through the same AT&T TV app either on mobile or on a big screen. The customer's login information will determine what content is displayed. Over the coming weeks, the AT&T TV app will be available for download at various app stores, and current DirecTV Now customers will automatically see this update on their devices. We will share more details about this rollout as it begins.
How AT&T TV will be different from AT&T TV Now is not entirely clear. AT&T TV's website says it will include "access to live TV, thousands of titles on demand, 500 hours of Cloud DVR and access to other apps such as Netflix and Pandora." But the page does not say how much it will cost.
Services like Netflix and Pandora will still require separate subscriptions, but AT&T will provide a set-top box to access the apps. "AT&T TV comes with our 4K-enabled next generation device and voice control with built-in Google Assistant," the website also says.
AT&T TV sounds very similar to DirecTV Now (the future "AT&T TV Now"), although they will be separate services. Like the future AT&T TV, the current DirecTV Now has live TV, on-demand programming and a cloud-based DVR. But DirecTV now only allows 20 hours of cloud DVR recording, compared to the 500 hours scheduled for AT&T TV. We assume that there will be other differences in channel offerings and prices, but AT&T has not revealed specifications yet.
In March this year, AT&T raised the price of DirecTV Now for existing subscribers and reduced the number of channels new customers receive. The current version of DirecTV Now offers two plans that cost $ 50 or $ 70 a month, with extra costs for premium networks.
AT&T is facing a lawsuit accusing it of lying to investors to hide DirecTV Now's failure. AT&T told investors that DirecTV Now succeeded even as the subscriber base fell due to price increases and the settlement of promotional discounts, the lawsuit claims.
AT&T TV, HBO Go, HBO Max, U-verse, DirecTV, etc.  AT&T also offers WatchTV, a $ 15 streaming channel with 35 channels, and several HBO-tagged services thanks to AT & T's acquisition of Time Warner Inc. The other major release planned by AT&T is HBO Max, which arrives in the spring of 2020 and will combine HBO libraries with other Time Warner content.
Including today's services and future releases, Wall Street Journal reporter Drew FitzGerald pointed out on Twitter that AT&T will offer TV shows through HBO Go, HBO Max, HBO Now, AT&T TV Now, AT&T TV, AT&T WatchTV, AT&T U-verse and DirecTV. We have already mentioned most of these services in this article. The others are HBO Go, an online service for people who buy HBO through their cable or satellite TV provider, and HBO Now, which is similar, but purchased directly from HBO for $ 15 a month.