T-Mobile's future streaming service will focus on a-la-carte subscriptions, not channel bu...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 8
T-Mobile's still nebulous streaming TV plans will concentrate on existing outside subscription services rather than offering up a new package of live TV channels, the company said in a Thursday earnings call.

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"We don't have plans to develop an nth undifferentiated skinny bundle," said T-Mobile president Mike Sievert, according to The Streamable via TechCrunch. "There are plenty of those. We think there's a more nuanced role for us to play in helping you get access to the great media brands out there that you love, and to be able to put together your own media subscription -- and smaller pieces five, six, seven or eight dollars at a time."

Work on this offering is slated to begin in 2019, Sievert added, leaving it unclear as to when the service might actually launch.

The result could be similar to Amazon Channels, where the main advantage is centralized billing and content access. Other companies are following suit, including Roku, Sling and Pluto TV.

Apple may be the next to join the train. While the company is spending $1 billion or more on original shows, much of its initial slate may be free to users of its hardware. Income would stem from devices and sales of outside subscriptions, presumably with the advantage of mixing it all in the TV app for iOS and tvOS.

In the long run Apple is believed to be hunting for "tentpole" shows that could prop up a paid first-party option, much like "Game of Thrones" on HBO or "Stranger Things" on Netflix. One obstacle to Apple's success may be its "family-friendly" content policies -- these reportedly reportedly quashed potential collaborations including an eight-part series directed by Oscar winner Alfonso Cuaron and starring Casey Affleck. More recent rumors, however, have hinted that Apple might be willing to relax its approach.

T-Mobile was recently claimed to be launching a free mobile TV service in a matter of weeks, but that ultimately proved to be a "snackable content app" for the carrier's separate prepaid brand, Metro.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,877member
    If T-mobile offer a streaming service where the customer selects his/her favorite channels from a large list of channels(and price for each channel) than that will be recession proof online streaming service and the last nail to cable's fat bundle coffin. Moreover, within such service the price get adjusted up/down based on the number of channels you add to your package. More channels you add, some package discount kicks in. 
    edited February 7
  • Reply 2 of 8
    Who did this to you? 
  • Reply 3 of 8
    wood1208 said:
    If T-mobile offer a streaming service where the customer selects his/her favorite channels from a large list of channels(and price for each channel) than that will be recession proof online streaming service and the last nail to cable's fat bundle coffin. Moreover, within such service the price get adjusted up/down based on the number of channels you add to your package. More channels you add, some package discount kicks in. 
    What people don't get is a true a la carte option won't be any cheaper than a cable subscription. I know cord cutters have been crying for years to have that, but the reality is, it's not cheaper. I'm seeing other people saying prices are going to be $5-8 per channel. If I take those rates and apply to the channels I watch, that's more than what I pay now. 
    christophbbeowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 8
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,292member
    My interest would be pay per view. I might sign up to stream a live sports event I can't otherwise get. 99c for a live NHL game? Maybe. 
    microbe
  • Reply 5 of 8
    wood1208 said:
    If T-mobile offer a streaming service where the customer selects his/her favorite channels from a large list of channels(and price for each channel) than that will be recession proof online streaming service and the last nail to cable's fat bundle coffin. Moreover, within such service the price get adjusted up/down based on the number of channels you add to your package. More channels you add, some package discount kicks in. 
    What people don't get is a true a la carte option won't be any cheaper than a cable subscription. I know cord cutters have been crying for years to have that, but the reality is, it's not cheaper. I'm seeing other people saying prices are going to be $5-8 per channel. If I take those rates and apply to the channels I watch, that's more than what I pay now. 
    I think you're forgetting that existing discounts for bundles/channel packages can still exist even in an a-la-carte system. The difference is, for a majority of people that have cable, 5-6 channels is all they watch. For myself, I haven't had cable in over 6 years. A true a-la-carte system would allow me to watch the 3-4 channels I want without having to pay for over 200 just because. I'd gladly pay $15-20 for the select few channels I want instead of being forced to bundle unneeded services such as home phone or cable/dvr/hd set top boxes.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 647member
    wood1208 said:
    If T-mobile offer a streaming service where the customer selects his/her favorite channels from a large list of channels(and price for each channel) than that will be recession proof online streaming service and the last nail to cable's fat bundle coffin. Moreover, within such service the price get adjusted up/down based on the number of channels you add to your package. More channels you add, some package discount kicks in. 
    What people don't get is a true a la carte option won't be any cheaper than a cable subscription. I know cord cutters have been crying for years to have that, but the reality is, it's not cheaper. I'm seeing other people saying prices are going to be $5-8 per channel. If I take those rates and apply to the channels I watch, that's more than what I pay now. 
    You are absolutely correct.  Also what I have always believed would happen is that all of those lesser channels that are usually forced into bundles will end up being much cheaper or maybe even free.  TV channels are going to go the way of apps, you just go into the iChannel store and pick which ones you want for a monthly fee.  Some will be free with extra ad support, think the free Hulu instance.  
  • Reply 7 of 8
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 647member
    acejax805 said:
    wood1208 said:
    If T-mobile offer a streaming service where the customer selects his/her favorite channels from a large list of channels(and price for each channel) than that will be recession proof online streaming service and the last nail to cable's fat bundle coffin. Moreover, within such service the price get adjusted up/down based on the number of channels you add to your package. More channels you add, some package discount kicks in. 
    What people don't get is a true a la carte option won't be any cheaper than a cable subscription. I know cord cutters have been crying for years to have that, but the reality is, it's not cheaper. I'm seeing other people saying prices are going to be $5-8 per channel. If I take those rates and apply to the channels I watch, that's more than what I pay now. 
    I think you're forgetting that existing discounts for bundles/channel packages can still exist even in an a-la-carte system. The difference is, for a majority of people that have cable, 5-6 channels is all they watch. For myself, I haven't had cable in over 6 years. A true a-la-carte system would allow me to watch the 3-4 channels I want without having to pay for over 200 just because. I'd gladly pay $15-20 for the select few channels I want instead of being forced to bundle unneeded services such as home phone or cable/dvr/hd set top boxes.
    a la carte would also allow you to vote with your wallet.  If ESPN jacks their price up and you don't like it, drop it and keep watching everything else.  You can't realistically do that today unless you throw the baby out with the bathwater.  

    The best news for old farts like me is this will mean I can intentionally not buy the 83 different flavors of ESPN that never have anything of value on and I have to scroll through just to get to the channel I do want to watch.  
  • Reply 8 of 8
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 280member
    I really only need a handful of channels and do not care to subsidize the rest. The argument that a la carte will be more expensive than bundles is not supported by reason- companies like Disney want to make sure you subsidize ESPN 1,2,3,4,5... even if you do not want to. AT&T/Turner wants to make sure you subsidize TBS, TNT, HLN and such even though you might only want CNN. Comcast wants to make sure you subsidize the Golf Channel, Bravo, CNBC and such even if all you want is MSNBC. Viacom wants you to watch all of their no-music "music channels" (MTV,VH1,CMT,BET) just to get Comedy Central....

    I already pay $5 a month to PBS for passport which gets me full streaming of PBS, have HBO Now and YouTube TV. If I could get the 2-3 channels I sometimes watch as stand alone I would drop the YouTube TV. What TV I watch is mostly HBO and a little PBS as I hate advertising.
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