Tuesday, September 11, 2018
AT&T’s John Stankey signaled he’s readying a new video effort for consumers after the big Time Warner buy. Just don’t expect it to look like the most high-profile service out there, at least today.
“I don’t want to recreate Netflix,” said Stankey, who is the CEO of WarnerMedia. “I don’t believe the Netflix that we know today is likely to be the Netflix of three years from today as the industry changes.”
Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) is increasingly focusing on video “they own and manage,” Stankey said this week during a presentation at an investor conference hosted by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. As for AT&T (NYSE: T), Stankey said there should be updates coming soon for a direct-to-consumer service that would take on Netflix.
“I think you’ll see us be declarative around it in the fourth quarter in specifics,” he said. “It’s very important to be in a position that we have a direct relationship with the customer. I think we start with a lot of assets and strengths.”
AT&T is ramping up its efforts around online video after its more than $80 billion deal for Time Warner wrapped up in June. The deal delivered some of the biggest names in high-end content, including Home Box Office and Warner Bros., along with Turner, which includes TBS and CNN.
Stankey is leading the dynamic team that’s looking at ways to improve the way it offers content to consumers. At the same time, AT&T is working on ways to bolster advertising and marketing with the combined companies by using better tools around data.
The WarnerMedia executive highlighted HBO, the brand behind such critically acclaimed shows as “Game of Thrones” and “The Sopranos,” as a particularly valuable asset. He said that there be can be other content around that to help maximize engagement.
“I’m not happy that maybe only 40 percent of households engage on HBO,” he said. “I aspire that that be much greater than that.”
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