AT&T could sell its stake in Hulu as it prepares its own streaming service

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AT&T recently announced its plans to launch its own streaming service towards the end of next year in an attempt to take on Netflix. Now, the company has shared a few more details about how it will work, though there’s still a lot that’s unknown.

In a presentation to analysts, the media giant said that its offering is coming in three tiers which will offer different kinds of content. The Basic tier will be focused on movies, while the Premium tier will offer “popular original programming” along with blockbuster movies. The most expensive offering will bundle the two previous tiers plus original content from WarnerMedia as well as licensed content.

In order to prioritize its own streaming service, AT&T could be selling some of its assets that aren’t considered essential to its plans. These could include the 10% stake in Hulu that it obtained when it acquired WarnerMedia as well as other minority investments in other companies. The sale is also meant to pay down some of the company’s debt.

Most notably, WarnerMedia could be looking at more aggressive ways to convince customers to switch over to its own offering. CEO John Stankey suggested that the media company might not renew its licenses to competing streaming services, significantly cutting down on their offerings:

“(…)we’re going to see a pretty substantial structural shift that’s going to occur…some of the incumbents that are in that space today should expect that their libraries are going to get a lot thinner.”

As previously announced, the service will launch in the last quarter of 2019, although in beta form. Pricing details and specific content for each of the tiers weren’t revealed, but if the network goes through with its plans, it could shake up the streaming market significantly.

Disney did something very similar in preparation for its own Disney+ streaming service, which is also coming next year. The company is also looking to invest more in Hulu, which interestingly seems to fall in line with AT&T’s plans to sell its own stake in the service.

Source: TechCrunch

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