AT&T has recently released its earnings report for the first quarter of 2016, registering revenues of $40.5 billion (or $0.72 a share), a figure that represents a significant improvement over the $32.6 billion it posted during the first quarter of 2015. This number also comfortably surpassed projections set by industry watchers from Wall Street. Analysts had expected the second biggest wireless carrier in the United States to report a profit of $0.69 per share.
AT&T also disclosed that it had managed to gain 1.8 million American wireless customers in the period spanning January to March of this year. The 1.8 million additions were mainly spurred by its prepaid subsidiaries and connected devices. In Mexico, AT&T also reported additions of 500,000 new customers.
Despite the impressive numbers that AT&T revealed in its latest quarterly earnings report, there is still little indication that the major US wireless carrier is tuning in to Internet video. This is even more curious when one considers that AT&T attributed a pretty solid quarter showing to its purchase of DirecTV.
When the wireless carrier completed its acquisition of DirecTV (to the tune of $49 billion) in July of last year, it basically became the biggest pay TV service provider across the US. And some may remember that more than a month ago, AT&T had announced its plans to introduce a trio of new Internet video services, all under its DirecTV branding. These three new video services are supposed to be deployed before the end of 2016, but the wireless carrier is yet to release any details regarding pricing, availability, and channel inclusions.
By revealing its intention to launch three new web video services, AT&T is clearly making an effort to align both its wireless and TV services. A marriage of both would pave the way for a wide range of video services delivered through the Internet, readily available to subscribers of AT&T. DirecTV bundled with wireless is an appealing offer, but recent trends seem to suggest that today’s mobile users, especially those belonging to the younger demographic, are shifting away from subscribing to traditional cable TV services.
During the first quarter of this year, AT&T has gained 328,000 satellite subscribers. The total number of video subscribers, however, were down 54,000 because of a decrease in U-Verse TV customers. AT&T has stated that its DirecTV Now should launch during the final quarter of 2016, offering a roster of channels similar to what a standard DirecTV subscription offers.
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