After Otter Media buyout, AT&T could introduce another video streaming offering
Many are expecting major US wireless AT&T to soon acquire Otter Media, the video streaming joint venture it has with The Chernin Group. As soon as this happens, the number two mobile operator in the country will put itself in a good position to own a streaming distribution platform. Otter Media happens to own VRV, which not only hosts digital star network Fullscreen, but also popular anime service Crunchyroll.
According to a report recently published by Digiday, it appears that VRV has been initiating negotiations with a number of traditional TV programmers, specifically with regards to the possibility of bringing their cable TV channels to VRV’s platform. Because VRV would soon become the property of AT&T, the wireless service provider will now be able to compete with Amazon’s Prime Video Channels program (plus Roku and Apple) by delivering digital video subscription bundles. The success of its Prime Video Channels has put Amazon in an enviable spot, even urging Roku and Apple to also pour investment in a marketplace for consumers to sign up for multiple channels in one go.
Last week had seen AT&T not only formally introduce two new unlimited data options (namely the Unlimited &More and the Unlimited &More Premium plans), but also launch a new TV streaming offering called WatchTV. This new offering offers over 30 olive channels, and more than 15,000 movies and TV series on demand. On top of that, WatchTV is not only accessible by smartphone and tablet, but also by Internet browser and streaming device.
Even before WatchTV and possible plans to acquire Otter Media, AT&T has already morphed into a considerable player in the traditional TV arena, especially with its acquisition of the DirecTV brand around four years ago. To the wireless giant’s credit, it has done fairly well in selling DirecTV to new customers.
But now with WatchTV and soon Otter Media’s VRV, AT&T’s potential reach should be vast. According to recent estimates, VRV has over 3 million registered subscribers. On top of that, the brand has generated over 3.5 billion minutes watched. Of course, the content offered by VRV does offer some diversity -- aside from Crunchyroll, VRV also offers content from Rooster Teeth, plus content from external programming partners like AMC Networks (for the horror offering Shudder), DramaFever, and Frederator (for the animation hub Cartoon Hangover). In other words, not only has it pleased fans of animation and anime, it also caters to fans of horror and science fiction genres.